Across North America, 'tis the season to steal baby Jesus
For the sixth year in a row, somebody has stolen the baby Jesus from the Regina Christian School's nativity scene.
It's the kind of incident that happens in dozens of towns every Christmas season.
What was different in Regina this time, when the figure was stolen Friday, was vandalism. The thieves smashed the walls of the scene and knocked over all of the figurines.
"I think other years it was probably just a joke. You know, the idea 'We'll steal baby Jesus,'" principal Rod Rilling said. "This year, it's a little more disappointing, I guess."
The Regina Christian School display sits unguarded on the school's property, only metres from a busy section of Albert Street South. So far, measures taken to prevent the theft haven't been working.
"I think one year my wife had tried to put [on] a little bit of an alarm she bought some place [and] thought if somebody grabbed it and it started to buzz or beep they'd just drop it and leave," Rilling said.
"I think she's even put a note on baby Jesus, you know: 'Please return to Regina Christian School.' But nobody's taken that to heart yet."
Bringing the scene indoors is one option, he said.
Meanwhile, such thefts have become part of a seasonal cycle across North America.
Other baby Jesus abductions were in the news Monday in North Dakota, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.
But in some places, the victims are fighting back. Last year, a teen in Florida was caught after not realizing the figure she'd taken was equipped with a global positioning system device.
Rilling isn't sure if his school will go that far. For the time being, he's going to look at a quick fix.
"Maybe we'll get another doll and try it one more time for the year," he said.
The police will also be called, Rilling said.