5-foot St. Francis statue stolen from Carrollwood church

Deputies in Hillsborough County are hoping you can help them find a large statue that was stolen from a shrine outside a Carrollwood church last month.

According to the priest, it was back around April 7 when someone swiped the statue of St. Francis of Assisi from St. Paul's Catholic Church on North Dale Mabry.

Church officials say the 5-foot-tall resin statue weighs between 50 and 150 pounds. It’s worth an estimated $4,000.

St. Francis is considered the patron saint of animals, and the statue depicts him with a squirrel, a deer, and birds. It was last seen glued atop rocks in the church’s Santo Nino shrine area.

Anyone who has spotted the statue or has information is asked to call the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office at 813-247-8200. To be eligible for a cash reward, deputies say to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS (8477), report anonymously online at www.crimestopperstb.com, or send a mobile tip using the P3 Tips Mobile application.

Meanwhile, the church's priest appealed to the thief to drop the statue off, no questions asked.