Vandal Beheads Nativity Scene Baby Jesus

Joshua Gill | Religion Reporter

A vandal beheaded and literally “disarmed” the baby Jesus figurine in a Wisconsin Nativity scene, prompting a police search for the unholy culprit.

The unidentified vandal took the head of a baby Jesus figure from a nativity scene in West Bend, Wis. according to Fox 4. The West Bend police department said on Facebook that officers found the arm of the figure discarded nearby, but have yet to locate the head.

An officer discovered the vandalized baby Jesus at the Nativity scene near Old Settlers Park, near the local downtown area. Police had not made any arrests as of 5 p.m. Sunday.

The baby Jesus figure is part of a handmade antique German nativity set that has been a part of the community’s Christmas celebrations since the 1960s. Acts of vandalism in the past prompted community leaders responsible for the display to fix the baby Jesus figurine in place with wire, but even that did not stop this year’s Scrooge. Jensen did not expect the figure to be stolen this year, in part because of the wire, but also because of the nativity set’s location in central downtown.

“It’s always been here. It’s part of our community,” local citizen Betty Bartelt told Fox 6. “You know Christmas is coming when you see the Nativity scene up.”

“I’m mad. I’m mad. I’m really angry that somebody took baby Jesus,” Bartelt added.

Anna Jensen, executive director of the Downtown West Bend Association which helped set up the display, told Fox 6 that while the community may buy another baby Jesus figure, the one the vandal damaged is irreplaceable in value and that a new one won’t match well with the antique set.

“When you do something like this, there goes the Christmas spirit completely,” Bartelt said.

The beheading of the baby Jesus is only the latest in a series of acts of vandalism targeting the nativity scene. Vandals stole the baby Jesus in the 1970s or late 1980s, and someone stole a donkey from the set in 2013, according to the Washington County Insider.

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