A rash of nativity thefts has left churches in four New Jersey towns without their baby Jesus figurines.
Police are looking for clues as to who has stolen baby Jesus statues from several outdoor nativity scenes, ABC reported. Most recently, the last two days have seen five baby Jesus thefts in Kearny, North Arlington, Lyndhurst and Clifton.
“This is truly the devil’s work,” one parishioner of Clifton’s St. Clare Church was quoted by the New York Post. “I ask you to donate out of the goodness of your heart so the church can purchase a new baby Jesus statue.”
Police are working to determine if the thefts are related, ABC stated.
"This is a Catholic parish. You should think about what you're doing to other people as well, and don't be so selfish," said parishioner Andrew Blascewicz to ABC. "This is our first time ever with an outdoor nativity scene, and the parishioners loved the idea and put their heart and soul into the project."
The Archdiocese of Newark said that mischievous teens may be to blame for the thefts, the Post added.
"Our hope is that this is nothing more than a prank. We are hoping police will find out who is doing this," the spokesman for the Newark Archdiocese, Jim Goodness, was quoted by ABC.