Thief Steals Baby Jesus From Nativity Scene - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

12/23/04

Thief Steals Baby Jesus From Nativity Scene

Jerry Griggs of Ocean Springs is hoping someone will find Jesus this Christmas.

But it's not what you might think. His story isn't about evangelism. It's more about trying to track down a thief.

Jerry Grigg's front yard features a rather impressive nativity display.

"I'd been looking for one for a couple of years, just trying to find the right one that suited me. And when I saw this one and it was on sale, I just had to have it," he said.

The nativity figures are an expensive set, made by a company popular with collectors.

"Fontanini. It's an Italian company. And they do a lot of different size displays and stuff. This one just seemed about the right size for a yard display," Griggs explained.

He was careful to secure the statue bases to a plywood foundation. But he failed to fasten the smallest figure.

"When I got home and looked and seen the baby Jesus had disappeared from the manger," Griggs said.

That's right. Someone swiped baby Jesus, right out from under Mary and Joseph, not to mention the wise men and angel overhead.

"You could have done without a shepherd, or maybe a wise man, but the Jesus, you've got to have, you know," said Griggs.

It appears the Christmas thief targeted the Griggs' display. Just around the corner, a peaceful looking plastic Jesus is untouched, along with Mary and Joseph. Next door, Santa and his reindeer also managed to elude the criminals.

You might think that stealing baby Jesus from a nativity scene is a highly unusual crime. Turns out, it's not at all. In fact, a simple search of the Internet found dozens of nativity Jesus thefts around the country.

Jerry Griggs has already ordered a replacement Jesus. The baby is due to arrive just in time for Christmas.

"I'm going to have to figure out some way to anchor in him there, so he won't disappear again," Griggs said.

By Steve Phillips

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