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‘Where is baby Jesus?’ — Statues stolen across New Jersey

So far, five churches in four towns have reported their statues of the baby Jesus stolen from their mangers.

The figurines were stolen from the St. Clare Roman Catholic Church in Clifton; Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church and St. Cecilia Roman Catholic Church, both in Kearny; Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in Lyndhurst; and Queen of Peace Church in North Arlington. The churches are all within a 10-mile radius.

The theft of baby Jesus figurines is an annual problem for befuddled New Jersey residents, who don’t find humor in the theft of the centerpiece of a religious celebration.

Elaine Romito, a resident whose Jesus figurine was stolen from its manger on her lawn, told CBS New York, “It’s either a very mean prank or someone is trying to make a statement.”

“Some people are bothered that baby Jesus was put out early […] or it could be someone who doesn’t agree with keeping Christ and Christmas,” said Romito.

A spokesperson for the Newark Archdiocese, Jim Goodness, said in a statement: It is a police matter. We’ve asked all the parishes to report it to police. It certainly is very distressing that is taking place at this time of year. Our hope is that this is nothing more than a prank. We are hoping police will find out who is doing this.”

The St. Clare church has continued to plead for the return of the figurine which was stolen from its nativity scene on Saturday, December 26. In a post on its website, “Baby Jesus Is Missing”, the church wrote, “I beg my parishioners to post the image of the empty spot 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.”

Last year, some opted to install GPS trackers in their figurines to prevent the theft of baby Jesus statues from nativity scenes.

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