LYNDHURST, New Jersey (WABC) -- Police are trying to figure out who is going around stealing baby Jesus statues from outdoor nativity scenes in various New Jersey towns.
Five churches in four neighboring towns have had their statues stolen in the last two days. Towns include Kearny, North Arlington, Lyndhurst and Clifton.
Police are trying to determine whether the crimes are connected.
At Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in Lyndhurst, the nativity scene was lit up outside with Mary and Joseph, but police say Baby Jesus may have been swiped on Christmas Day.
At St. Clare Church in Clifton, the baby Jesus figure was discovered missing early Sunday morning. The nativity scene was recently bought by parishioners, and was put on display for the first time last week.
Other churches that were hit include Queen of Peace Church in North Arlington, Our Lady of Sorrows Church in Kearny and St. Cecilia's Church in Kearny.
Many are now left wondering who would steal a Baby Jesus figure.
"People are crazy, and don't have nothing (sic) to do," said one local resident.
"This is a Catholic parish, you should think about what you're doing to other people as well and don't be so selfish," said parishioner Andrew Blascewicz. "This is our first time ever with an outdoor nativity scene and the parishioners loved the idea and put their heart and soul into the project."
Spokesperson for the Newark Archdiocese, Jim Goodness released a statement saying,
"It is a police matter. We've asked all the parishes to report it to police. It certainly is very distressing that is taking place at this time of year. Our hope is that this is nothing more than a prank. We are hoping police will find out who is doing this."
Up to 5 baby Jesus figures stolen from various New Jersey churches; police searching for suspect