By Rachel Lake (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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6:50 PM EST, December 7, 2012
Christmas is supposed to be a time of joy and celebration, but theft has taken some of that joy away.
Around Thanksgiving, the South Bend Chocolate Café put up its nativity scene outside the building. Then, two days ago, workers noticed an important part of the scene was gone. Now everyone’s wondering: Who could steal baby Jesus?
"I think it's awful someone would come down and take him," said Karen Conway, who lives in South Bend.
"There's no other word for it, it's just nasty,” said Rabbi Rob Weber, who also lives in South Bend. “It's mean-spirited and beyond me as to what somebody could use as justification.”
“Son of God, Jesus Son of God. We're always joking, put the Jesus back in Christmas – put the Jesus back in the manger at the South Bend Chocolate Company!” said Matthew Cowden, pastor at St. Michael’s All Angels Episcopal Church.
It's believed baby Jesus was stolen overnight because no one saw the culprit. Surveillance cameras also didn't catch anyone.
“I don't think anybody is in the spirit of pressing charges, we just want it returned to its rightful spot next to Mary and Joseph,” said Aaron Perri, Downtown South Bend executive director.
Perri says as far as he knows this is the first time baby Jesus has been kidnapped from a nativity scene in downtown South Bend.
"Well, as they say, Jesus is the reason for the season and to have that missing here in the midst of all the festivities – it really does feel like something is out of place a little bit."
Downtown South Bend hopes this story will encourage the thief or thieves to return Jesus to his rightful place in this manger. The suspect doesn't even have to turn himself in.
It’s not possible that Jesus blew away. This is a quality nativity scene made of sound products.
A police report was filed.
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