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Teens make off with statue of Baby Jesus

JESUS may have walked on water but teenage thieves used ice to steal the centrepiece from one of Ireland's best-loved nativity scenes.

Water in the Lough in Cork city has frozen over, and teenage thieves crossed the ice to reach a crib on an island in the city lake.

The teens made off with the statue of Baby Jesus as well as the crowns of the Three Wise Men. They managed to escape injury after the stunt. Baby Jesus was later recovered wedged in snow and ice by the side of the Lough.

It is believed the teens used the statue for skating across the lake.

The statues are life-size -- the nativity scene has become one of the most famous in Ireland with people travelling for miles to view the floodlit re-creation of the Bethlehem manger.

The Lough's caretaker noticed the disturbance at the nativity scene on Tuesday morning, and gardai were alerted. While the Baby Jesus statue was recovered after a search, there was no trace of the missing crowns.

Cork City Council said the most important fact was that Baby Jesus was recovered without significant damage.

The crowns are not understood to be expensive and can easily be replaced for next December.

Gardai have appealed to anyone who may have spotted suspicious activity on the Lough or near the island crib to contact them.

Irish Independent