Long Island nativity theft being investigated as hate crime

Kristin Thorne reports from St. James, Long Island
December 20, 2013 3:57:37 PM PST
Police on Long Island are trying to figure out who stole figures from a nativity scene in Suffolk County earlier this week.

The thieves took 2 wise men from the nativity at the intersection of Route 25A and Lake Avenue in Saint James sometime between December 16 and 17.

Police are investigating the incident as a hate crime.

"I didn't know about it. It's too bad. I guess there are some people who are haters," one area resident told us.

The St. James Chamber of Commerce put up the nativity scene. Baby Jesus isn't put out until Christmas Day, so it was one less thing the thieves had an option to take.

"I think it's terrible at this time of year. I don't know it seems to happen all the time doesn't it," Mike Walsh, Stony Brook resident, said.

This isn't the first time something like this has happened in St. James. A few years ago someone knocked down an 8 foot tall menorah just down the street.

"It's pretty nasty. It most probably is teenagers doing it," resident Peter Antoniazzi said.

Suffolk County Crime Stoppers offers a cash reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to an arrest.

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.