At least three North Jersey churches reported finding statues of the baby Jesus snatched from Nativity scenes over the weekend.
Statues were swiped from Sacred Heart Church in Lyndhurst and from Queen of Peace Church in neighboring North Arlington -- either on Christmas Day or sometime before dusk Saturday, Lyndhurst Police Capt. John Valente told Daily Voice.
In Clfton, a baby Jesus statue was reported stolen from St. Clare Church on Allwood Road sometime between 7 p.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. Sunday.
"It's a shame, it really is," said a church staffer who answered the office phone but declined to give her name. "Very disturbing."
St. Clare, which set up the outdoor scene for the first time this Christmas, posted photos of the empty manger while seeking the public's help.
"We need to let people know that a crime like this will not be tolerated," the church's website says. "Also, let us continue to pray for the conversion of sinners, most especially those that did this act."
John Chrzastek of Clifton also started a GoFundMe campaign to help St. Clare purchase a new baby Jesus if the missing statue isn't found.
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