Nativity Scene Stolen from Salida Church

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SALIDA --

A part of Christmas has been stolen from a Salida church. The pastor with the First Congregational Church of Salida said thieves made off with their very heavy and unique nativity scene earlier this week.

Outside the church is a sign that reads, "There is no room in the inn but, please return our stable,” Pastor Kevin Roach of the First Congregational Church of Salida said.

It’s a plea to the people who managed to steal a life-size nativity scene from the church’s front lawn.

“I was just shocked that anybody would take off with something like that,” he said.

Shocked, not only that someone broke the Seventh Commandment but also because it’s so heavy.

"It took six of us to carry. Like I said, it’s heavy,” Roach explained.

Roach described the stable as 5-feet-by-6-feet, made by church members with heavy pieces of wood.

The stable was put in place Sunday after church, but Tuesday morning it was gone. It’s a one-of-a-kind item that has been with the church for about 15 years.

“(It was) used outside for the live nativities, and then it’s been used in here for the youth programming,” Roach told FOX40.

The only picture of the nativity the church has is one from 2006, when they used teens from the youth group to be the three kings.

“I find it heartbreaking to want to say to them, 'just please return it,'” Roach said.

While the pastor harbors no ill will toward the thieves who managed to get away with their stable, he and his congregation just want their piece of Christmas back.

A church member is also offering a $100 reward for its return.

The pastor told FOX40 that they just want the nativity scene back and will not press charges if returned.