Vandals steal baby Jesus figurine

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The baby Jesus figurine was stolen from the nativity crèche on the Naugatuck Green Tuesday. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

NAUGATUCK — Vandals made off with the baby Jesus figurine Tuesday from the nativity crèche on the town Green.

Naugatuck police spokesman Lt. Bryan Cammarata said someone called police Tuesday at about 6:30 p.m. and reported that juveniles grabbed the figurine and ran away from the Green with it. The Public Works Department reported it stolen on Wednesday morning.

Cammarata said that strings of Christmas lights hanging on the Green were also cut.

This isn’t the first time that someone stole a baby Jesus figurine from the Green.

In 2007, Naugatuck made state and regional news when someone stole three separate baby Jesus porcelain statues from St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, which places a crèche on the Green. That year, a menorah celebrating the Jewish holiday Hanukkah was also demolished.

In 2005 and in 2006, pranksters stole the figurine from the crèche owned by the borough in the center of the Green. In 2005, the figurine was never located. But the following year, days after it was stolen, someone dropped off the statue, unharmed, at the Parks Department headquarters on Rubber Avenue. Attached to it was a handwritten apology note.

The borough’s crèche on the Green is encased in Plexiglass, a result of the past vandalisms. The vandals ripped a portion of the Plexiglass loose from the crèche to grab the figurine.

Incidents like this are part of the reason the borough is moving forward with installing surveillance cameras in streetlights throughout Naugatuck. Twenty cameras total will be installed in various areas when the borough changes the streetlights to LED lights. Officials have said cameras will be installed around the Green.

The incident remains under investigation. Police asked that anyone with information call the Naugatuck Police Department at 203-729-5221 or the Naugatuck police Confidential Tip Line at 203-720-1010.