Man seeks to return crucifix to owner 50 years after stealing it from Mansfield church

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MANSFIELD, Ohio-- A remorseful thief is asking for help to find the owner of a crucifix he stole from a church more than 50 years ago.

Gere Goble has received a number of unusual letters in her 30 years in the newspaper business, but none compare to the one the Mansfield News Journal received last week.

"I'm sending this crucifix in hopes you will post a picture of it in your paper. I want to right a wrong that I did as a young boy in the mid-60s. I stole this crucifix from a church in Mansfield."

Based on the anonymous letter, the newspaper published a story asking if anyone recognized the item. The author of the letter was unable to remember the name of the church, but said it was on a street off of Diamond Street on the north side of the city.

It appears the stolen crucifix was part of a rosary.

"We reached out to Mansfield police. Their records don't go back 50 years, go figure, so right now we're just hoping that a reader will recognize it and come forward," said Goble, acting editor of the News Journal.

On Monday, Goble received a phone call from Florida. It was the man who stole the cross checking to make sure the package arrived.

"He's 64 now and in failing health, and it means a lot to him to see this get back. He said this has been a burden on his heart for many years and he just wants to see the right thing happened here. He wants it to go back where it belongs," Goble said.

It's possible the owner of the crucifix passed away so they're hoping a surviving relative would be able to claim it. Anyone with information is asked to call the Mansfield News Journal.

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