Man in Santa hat stole baby Jesus from nativity scene on Christmas, police say

Police seek help identifying church vandal

SANFORD, Fla. – Even though he was wearing a Santa hat, Sanford police say a man seen in surveillance video vandalizing a church nativity scene is quite the Grinch.

Police said the Scrooge crept up to the vinyl, custom-painted nativity scene at LifeWay Community Church on Dec. 21 and used a knife to cut the heads off of nine figures, then destroyed three others.

The man returned on Christmas Day, this time wearing a Santa hat, and cut the extension cord, then ran away with the baby Jesus figurine that was in the manger, according to a news release.

Pastor Gerald Brown told News 6 that there was also an incident in which all the characters in the nativity scene were knocked over.

Sanford police are seeking the public's help in identifying the man accused of vandalizing the nativity scene, which is valued at $3,000.

Anyone with information about the crime or the man's identity is asked to call the Sanford Police Department at 407-688-5070.

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