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Statues from nativity scene stolen from Quincy Center

Four statues were taken from the nativity scene next to Quincy City Hall.

John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Four statues were taken from the nativity scene next to Quincy City Hall.

Statues of Jesus, Mary, and a lamb were stolen from a nativity scene in Quincy Square early Thursday morning, and that of a shepherd was left behind on a sidewalk, in the third such incident at the creche scene in the past nine years, Quincy police said.

A street sweeper discovered the crime when he found the shepherd statue on a nearby sidewalk at around 2:24 a.m., police said.

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“The shepherd was out on the sidewalk, and Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and a lamb were missing,” said Captain John Dougan, Quincy police spokesman. Police said the statues were probably dragged into a vehicle from the creche.

The nativity scene was paid for by donations from the city’s Roman Catholic parishes, said Chris Walker, spokesman for Mayor Thomas P. Koch. It stands on public property and is set up by the city Parks Department every year around Thanksgiving.

In 2004 a statue of the baby Jesus was stolen from the same site and later recovered around the Town River Marina. Last year Jesus was stolen again and found in Mount Wollaston Cemetery, Dougan said.

The two previous cases prompted the city to add security, including bolting the statue of Jesus to a piece of plywood.

Nobody was arrested in the previous cases, but officials said they suspected the thefts were committed by young people.

Quincy police tweeted a “be on the lookout” alert at about 6 a.m. and encouraged anyone with relevant information to contact the department.

“Phone calls have already started coming in this morning into the mayor’s office,” Walker said. “People do feel a connection to this.’’

Jasper Craven can be reached at jasper.craven@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @Jasper_Craven.
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