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Statue Of Baby Jesus Stolen From Salem, NH Nativity Scene

SALEM, NH (CBS) – A thief stole a statue of baby Jesus from the Salem Common this week, and it is not the first time the figure has been snatched.

"We got a report from the police department that baby Jesus had gone missing," said Dave Wholley of Salem's Public Works Department. He was steps away from the Nativity Scene setting up for Wednesday's Pearl Harbor tribute when he learned of the theft.

So he walked over and confirmed: Baby Jesus had in fact been grabbed right out of the manger.

"You kind of hope for the best. Hope that kids were around playing," Wholley said. "When we couldn't locate him anywhere you kind of start to think it was something a little more devious."

Wholley says this same baby Jesus was stolen last year and was found lying, not in a manger, but on the side of the road a few miles away.

"It's kind of despicable, everybody believes in something. Whether it's God, Santa, something higher power but to be mean, it's just disrespectful," a woman said.

"I hope that we find him or someone will do a good deed and some good would come out of it and restore him back to where he belongs," Wholley said.

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