Christmas crime: 5 baby Jesus statues stolen from NJ churches
St. Clare Roman Catholic Church in Clifton is the latest North Jersey church hoping for the return of its baby Jesus statue, after someone snatched the figure from a nativity scene just after Christmas.
"We are deeply disturbed that some group or person stole the baby Jesus from the outdoor nativity last night, Dec. 26-27, 2015 on the second day of Christmas — The Feast of the Holy Family," the church wrote in a message on its website, asking parishioners to "post the image of the missing Jesus on Facebook and ask people to repost over and over.
"We need to let people know that a crime like this will not be tolerated." the church wrote. "Also, let us continue to pray for the conversion of sinners, most especially those that did this act."
According to a report by NBC New York, the Archdiocese of Newark said baby Jesus statues have also been stolen from creches at Our Lady of Sorrow and St. Celia, both in Kearny, Sacred Heart in Lyndhurst and Queen of Peace in North Arlington.
"This is nonsensical and very sad that someone would look to do this not just because it's Christmas, but anytime," James Goodness, archdiocese spokesman, told the station.
A GoFundMe page has been started saying moneys raised will help replace the St. Clare baby Jesus, though NJ 101.5 has not yet been able to verify its authenticity. According to the page, the church's nativity scene was purchased only this year.
"This is truly the Devil's work and I ask you to donate out of the goodness of your heart so the church can purchase a new baby Jesus statue," wrote organizer John Chrzastek.
Earlier this month, Parsippany police reported someone had stolen a baby Jesus from the front yard of a residence. In January year, the theft of a baby Jesus from the St. Stanislaus Church was caught on video.