Members of a Hilo church are wondering why someone would steal their beloved cross only to put it up in a nearby yard.
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The United Community Church on Kinoole Street reported that its 7-foot-tall, 60-pound cross was stolen last week.
Rev. Merle Lai says the ground around the mounted cross was loose, allowing the thief to take it out of the ground.
Lai says she got a call Wednesday morning from Hawai'i County police saying someone spotted the cross mounted in a yard just a block away from the church.
"Going there and actually identifying the cross, I was stunned the cross was planted in that person's yard," said Rev. Lai. "I thought he would have tried to hide it, but it was in plain sight."
Big Island police opened up a theft investigation, but the pastor says she doesn't plan to pursue any charges.
Pastor Lai says she is keeping the cross in storage until it can be properly secured again.