Bethlehem, PA (WTXF) - Resident of Bethlehem noticed the baby Jesus was missing from his manger at a nativity display. It didn't take long to figure out it had been stolen.
Fox 29's Hank Flynn has the story.
"It's Christmastime and we celebrate Christmas. Jesus was born," said Dick Schroy.
Schroy helps put together the Nativity scene at Zion Evangelistic Lutheran church in Zion Hill each year. According to Schroy, that plywood Baby Jesus is in is planted solid -- you're not moving it.
"No one's going anywhere with that Baby Jesus," said Schroy. "You could throw your back out trying to get him out of there."
And that's a good thing, because for some reason people steal Baby Jesus this time of year. Dick doesn't want it to happen.
"And they do it to churches -- they do. I... I don't understand people," Schroy said.
A woman named Jacqueline Ross is in custody for allegedly snatching the Baby Jesus from Bethlehem's City Hall Nativity. Police say Ross then dropped the Baby statue at a local hospital with a note essentially calling Joseph and Mary bad parents. Local neighbor Karen Brynildsen was stumped.
"It just... I just couldn't believe it. Let's put it this way... first of all -- I couldn't believe it -- and then I thought 'Here we go again,'" said Brynildsen.
According to community members, it happens all the time. And not necessarily to the same Nativity scene in the same town -- but it's a holiday constant.
In this case, Ross is being held on charges of institutional vandalism. Police say her bail is set t $30,000.
At Christ Church United Church of Christ there is also no Baby Jesus in the manger. Had it been stolen? Not quite.
Staffers say the explanation's simple. It's not Christmas -- so Jesus hasn't been born. But they say when he is placed in the cradle -- he gets tied down with steel cables and zip ties -- why? Because he's been stolen in the past -- and so has the Virgin Mother.
In Zion Hill, the Nativity thieves are about to get more careful.
"Well -- let's just hope the cops get to you before we do. Because it wouldn't be very pretty," said Schroy.
People love their holiday traditions and that certainly includes Nativity scenes -- and nobody's yet's listed a good reason to run off with Baby Jesus or any other part of it. So if you steal somebody's Nativity and get jail or worse for messing with it, that's what you get.