A children’s doll has taken the place of baby Jesus in a nativity scene after a Dec. 17 theft at Modesto’s St Peter Lutheran Church.
“Jesus was missing and we went looking. We looked in the bushes, we looked around the corner. No Jesus to be found,” Pastor Ryan Cortright said.
Parishioners at St Peter say the missing Jesus is a big problem – especially on Christmas Eve. The nativity scene was a donation from members of the church.
While some parishioners are outraged, Pastor Cortright says he’s thankful that faith isn’t something that someone can steal.
“I guess it makes me laugh that that’s how far people have gone, but steal the true meaning. They can’t steal Jesus from us and what He did for us, so I don’t think our members are too worried about it,” Cortright said.
Police say baby Jesus thefts are fairly common this time of year, along with other outdoor decorations. Investigators are confident that there is not “Baby Jesus Bandit” running around the central valley.
Lance Klug and Darren McQuade filed this report.