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Recent Minnesota 'Baby Jesus' thefts seem to be part of a national trend

Manger thefts are apparently on the rise, and no one's really sure why.

Did you hear about the Baby Jesus that was stolen from a Nativity scene in St. Cloud recently? 

Well, turns out it wasn't an isolated incident. In fact, it's been happening all over the country.

"Such manger larceny, in glaring violation of the Eighth Commandment, is also part of a sad national trend," reports the New York Times, which says Jesus thieves have hit Nativity scenes in Tennessee, West Virginia, Minnesota, Wisconsin and "plenty of other places" recently.   

Indeed, you know a phenomenon like this is officially a "thing" when it has its own Wikipedia page, which Baby Jesus theft most certainly does.

What's behind the apparent rise in manger-related crimes is not clear, but the Times says there are multiple theories floating around – including one that the thefts signify "an erosion of faith." 

Whatever the cause, Minnesota seems to have had more than its fair share of missing babies Jesus, with at least three such thefts making the news this month. 

There's the aforementioned St. Cloud case, where thieves snatched the Jesus doll from the Nativity scene at U.S. Bank on West St. Germain Street, City Pages notes, adding that the doll was a World War II-era antique owned by the Stearns County History Museum.

As of this writing, the infant savior has not been heard from, and the same goes for the one stolen from a Catholic church in Pine River this past week. 

A Baby Jesus was also swiped from a Nativity set outside the Cedar Rose Inn, a bed & breakfast in Alexandria, Minnesota.

In that case, the Echo Press reported, the couple that owns the B&B have not filed a report with police, and "aren't even asking for the return of the baby Jesus."

Instead, the pair wrote a "good-hearted message" to the Echo Press about the incident, saying that "evidently the person/persons responsible needs Jesus in their lives every day, as do all Christians."

Something tells us that Baby Jesus would agree, but we don't condone theft, of course.

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