Jesus stolen near Independence Hall

December 15, 2008 4:12:21 PM PST
Philadelphia police are investigating a brazen crime outside Independence Hall. Ten days before Christmas, someone stole a statue of the baby Jesus - right before it was to be dedicated! Most of the regular fixtures are there - The Three Wise Men, Mary, Joseph? but the most important piece is missing. Baby Jesus was there for less than 24 hours before it was stolen over the weekend, and folks around the neighborhood are just now realizing the statue is missing.

The Nativity scene was put up Saturday morning. The guy who runs tour buses from the corner said he noticed the baby Jesus was missing around 8:15 yesterday morning.

This is the 12th year the Nativity scene has been displayed at Independence National Park.

The group behind the display says they can't understand this kind of vandalism. The committee had to scramble to find a suitable replacement in time for Monday afternoon's dedication ceremony.

A stand-in from a church was used instead. The replacement will be returned to its church Monday night. The replacement won't be put up until Christmas morning.

Whoever took the Christ child had to have exuded considerable effort. The crib and statue had been bolted to the floor. The screws were just snapped off.

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