The crime of stealing baby Jesus from nativity scenes is sadly a frequent one. More than 100 baby Jesus figures will be stolen from each state this year most with a value over $1500. As this crime has grown different security measures have been tried and failed. This year a church in Wellington, FL decided to plant a GPS device normally used by the city on their insecticide truck inside their baby Jesus. Soon after the figure was stolen, just as they knew it would be, the GPS tracker led the police directly to a nearby apartment where an 18 year old woman was arrested and the figure properly returned.
A New York based company BrickHouse Security has created a GPS tracking device that appears to be a fancy label made for the bottom of the Nativity figures. They are also offering up to 200 nonprofit religious institutions a free month use of GPS tracking services. Chief executive officer Todd Morris said the idea came to them after several churches asked them about one-month rentals instead of longer contract and direct purchases. They are also looking into other ways of planting the device on the figure so that they are undetectable.
Baby Jesus isn’t the only religious holiday decoration that is using this technology. Rabbi Yochonon Goldman of Lubavitch of Center City, a Philadelphia-area branch of the Chabad Lubavitch movement, is using this product on their Menorahs this year. In the past they have had over 15 Menorahs stolen or vandalized costing their organization over $20,000 in donations.
This crime is despicable, I am glad to see there is a way to deter criminals from committing such a heinous act. Vandalism rates have lowered in several areas since churches, businesses, and other organizations have been using cameras to catch vandals in the act. With cameras and GPS it is possible to restore some Christmas spirit back to some people who have been hurt by some real bah-hum-bugs.