SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ - The South Brunswick Police Department is investigating a Christmas Day theft from the Nativity scene in front Saint Augustine of Canterbury Roman Catholic Church on Henderson Road in the Kendall Park section of the township. The suspect stole the baby Jesus and Mary statues from the seasonal display, according to a report issued by the SBPD today.

As reported in the The New York Times, the theft of figures form nativity scenes has become a "sad national trend," affecting churches around the country.  Within the Archdiocese of Newark, thefts have taken places at least five Catholic churches in Clifton, Kearny, Lyndhurst, and North Arlington.  Some churches have even installed "Jesus cams" to protect the statues. 

St. Augustine officials believe the theft of the statues from the wooden Nativity scene on the church’s front lawn occurred sometime between 2:30am and 10am Christmas morning.

Police are asking anyone who may have video surveillance of the Henderson Road area in the overnight hours or who may have information to call South Brunswick Police at (732) 329-4646.