DETROIT (AP) — Thieves seeking copper to sell as scrap may have stolen an 8-foot statue of Jesus Christ off a cross in Detroit. Problem is, it's made of plaster.

The Rev. Barry Randolph says the statue at the Church of the Messiah is a green color and looks like copper. The church has made a public plea for help.

It's unclear when the statue was snatched. A parishioner noticed it missing recently, and a small piece of plaster was found nearby.

Thieves have damaged copper pipes and stolen aluminum gutters at the church over the past few months, said Donya Ray-Gregg, a member of the congregation, which over the years has dwindled from about 350 members to just 50.