Giant wooden cross stolen from California church on video

California police were on the hunt for a man accused of burglarizing a Catholic Church near Palm Springs on Monday, taking with him a $1,600 wooden cross.

The unidentified man was captured on video the approaching the St. Louis Catholic Church early Monday morning and then leaving with a wooden cross of Jesus Christ under his arm, the Cathedral City Police Department told KESQ.

Reverend Luis A. Guido told the station that the Cristo Negro, a replica of the "Black Christ of Esquipulas" made in Guatemala, was never secured properly because he never imagined that someone would take it.

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"We never expected someone would want to steal Christ so we just had a small lock, a baby lock. Probably just needed pliers or a screwdriver and we found the lock on the floor, the door open and this empty," he said.

Guido said he hoped that whoever took the $1,600 crucifix would return it since it's a special symbol for the church's Central American parishioners.

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"It's sad that it happened and we understand that things happen unfortunately and we pray for the man who did it and hopefully he has a conscious conversion."

Police said the church was vandalized as well. The investigation was ongoing.