Although the statue was a little chipped and the orange robe paint was fading, it quickly became an icon for the little shop. Then one of the store owners, Midge Saglimbene, got a disturbing phone call, reports ABC News:
“There’s a friend that works here sometimes and she was going down Route 25 after Mass,” Saglimbene said. “She looked over on her way home and noticed that statue wasn’t there and called me.”
As the Daily Mail notes, Saglimbene was distraught over the theft of the shop’s beloved statue:
“I was devastated. I was crying, I was like ‘I can’t believe this. This can’t be,” Saglimbene told WFSB.
She posted the news about the theft to the store’s Facebook page and hoped for the best:
Then, something amazing happened a few days later – on All Saints’ Day. WISHTV writes:
Sunday morning, Midge received word that the statue had returned, vibrant as ever, with a fresh coat of paint. Midge told WTNH-TV that indeed, “Jesus has returned. No note was left, but we believe it to be the ‘Good Thief’ with good intentions, and we are grateful.”
ABC News reports that the paint job was pretty thorough:
…the faded [robe] color was now painted bright red and Jesus’ hair and beard had a fresh paint job as well.
“Out of the goodness of their heart they redid the whole statue,” Saglimbene said of the anonymous person who didn’t even leave a note. “I just stood in front of [the statue] and just said thank you whoever this was, I will say a prayer for you.”
The good news was posted on the store’s Facebook page, along with a note of appreciation:
It appears that no charges will be pressed against the mysterious “Good Thief” for their actions.