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Jesus' head stolen from church's statue

Aug. 18, 2009

NOW photo / Stefanie ScottIn recent months, Wauwatosa has seen cemetery headstones, city stop signs and the Hoyt Park pool house damaged. But this time, vandals have struck a new target: The statue at the entrance to St. Joseph Congregation now features a headless baby Jesus.

"Somewhere someone is using (the head) for a trophy," church Business Administrator Deb Labermeier said today. "The officer and I and the custodians looked everywhere on the property for it, and it's gone."

The statue of Joseph holding his infant son was given to the church by the Christian Women's Society more than 10 years ago. The marble statue is one of several on the church grounds at 12130 W. Center St.

"It's not essential to what we do, we can function without it," Labermeier said. "But our members take this personally. They take pride in the property. This is so senseless."

The church has insurance, which will pay for the majority of the estimated $5,000 cost to replace the statue. But the parish will be responsible for paying the $1,000 deductible.

Labermeier said she was "surprised and disappointed" by the decapitation, which occurred between Aug. 9 and 11, because the church has rarely had problems with crime.

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