Looters stole a Vatican-commissioned bronze bust of the Virgin Mary from a gallery in Florida during the height of Hurricane Charley.
The bust - Madonna Della Pieta - is worth $25,000 (£13,800) and was one of two pieces stolen from the Inspiration Living Fine Art Gallery on 13 August.
Police said the gallery's alarm system was triggered while Charley buffeted Orlando with 100mph (160kph) winds.
The theft was not discovered until the following morning.
The sculpture is based on Michelangelo's famed sculpture, Pieta.
Dawn Fleming, the daughter of the gallery's owners, said: "They knew exactly what they were taking."
The bust has the Vatican's seal imprinted on the bottom of its base.