GPS, hidden cameras watch over Baby Jesus - Security- msnbc.com
How the hell do you steal a teeter-totter? oOWhen Baby Jesus disappeared last year from a Nativity scene on the lawn of the Wellington, Fla., community center, village officials didn't follow a star to locate him.
A GPS device mounted inside the life-size ceramic figurine led sheriff's deputies to a nearby apartment, where it was found face down on the carpet. An 18-year-old woman was arrested in the theft.
Others, like the Herrera family of Richland Hills, Texas, took matters into their own hands. Upset after their teeter-totter was stolen, the family trained surveillance cameras on their yard and was surprised when footage showed a teenage girl stealing a baby Jesus worth almost $500. Police have obtained the tape.
"They took the family Jesus," said Gloria Herrera, 48, a Catholic. "How can anybody do that?"
At First United Methodist Church in Kittanning, Pa., a baby Jesus was stolen and replaced with a pumpkin.
Stephen Nissenbaum, a retired history professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and author of "The Battle for Christmas," views the thefts as neither innocent vandalism nor religious hate crimes.
"What it means is that it's OK to go around violating even pretty important norms, as long as real human harm isn't being done," he said. "It's not exactly devaluing Christianity, but it is sort of a ritualized challenge to it. It could be Christian kids doing it — and on Jan. 2 they become good Christians again."