SAN DIEGO — A mission wants to know who stole two plaques outside their building.
“To purposely steal something, damage it, deface a church is happening more in this country and I really don’t understand it,” said Dennis Grasska, a frequent visitor of the Mission Basilica San Diego De Alcala and San Diego resident.
The theft was caught on camera at the Mission Basilica San Diego De Alcala in Mission Valley.
“I’ve been watching videos and videos to try and see if I can recognize this person,” said Ricardo Jauregui, the Mission Basilica San Diego De Alcala facility manager.
Overnight on April 4, one person is seen with two bags walking up the driveway to the mission. Surveillance video shows the person using a flashlight to look at a row of plaques outside the building.
The person took the first one along the hallway. It was a roughly four-year-old bronze commemorative plaque that read “California’s first mission established in 1769.”
Jauregui explained the person would “spend three minutes trying to remove that and he did.”
Jauregui also said the person stole a decades-old plaque underneath the statue of founder, Father Junipero Serra.
“Is that going to hurt God, is that going to hurt the church, what is it that they are trying to say,” Grasska said.
The mission is visited by dozens a day, such as Grasska who attends mass at the mission, and who also visits with his grandkids.
Grasska says, “it’s a place of beauty, it’s a place of history it’s a place of peace.”
Grasska and the church want the person responsible to d the right thing.
“What are you going to do with it? Of what value is it to you? Bring it back,” Grasska said.
“Bring it back, no questions asked,” Jauregui added.
Jauregui said the church filed a police report. San Diego police confirmed to FOX 5 via email Wednesday that the department was investigating.
Both plaques were donations and the church estimates both will cost up to $2,000.