Stealing Nativity Displays

The New York Times is reporting on the security measures people are using to protect nativity displays.

Posted on December 27, 2018 at 6:25 AM • 15 Comments

Comments

HJohnDecember 27, 2018 8:45 AM

My father once put up two fake cameras at his used car lot. The first was labeled "Camera 1," and the other was labeled "Camera 4." There were no cameras 2 and 3, but vandals didn't know that. His losses to vandalism went down significantly.

The ability to conceal is key to any crime. Even the false perception that they will be caught is a significant deterrent.

Alan BlucherDecember 27, 2018 9:09 AM


Strange. Not a single imputation of "hate" as a motivation for these events which have become "[COMMON]."

Clive RobinsonDecember 27, 2018 9:38 AM

@ Bruce,

There is the old sailing saying "If it ain't lashed or nailed down tight it'll shift".

Some nativity scenes in Europe are many hundreds of years old thus have collectors value.

Now I know that US nativity sceens can not be more than 400 years old and most are actually more likely to be from the 1950's or later so not valuable due to age alone.

But I doubt these are "crimes" in the normal sense of stealing to sell on.

So yes security should be a consideration. But how much? I think most would agree that an armrd guard would not only be over kill but not in keeping with the christian message at the Winter equinox. Even CCTV costs money and could be worth more than the actual nativity figurines.

The real value which does not come through that well in the article, is continuity especialy in hard times that makes it rather more than tradition. It's like a loadstone of the emotions pointing out there were better times and there are better times to be.

It's this aspect that makes those scenes valuable, and might also account for why they might be stolen.

PeaceOnEarthDecember 27, 2018 10:03 AM

Ya, for Nativity thefts, I really doubt acquisition or resale is the main motive.

These days I'd chalk it up to the intolerance of a very vocal minority. Young ones who don't understand true free speech, and use destruction to silence disagreement.

PhaeteDecember 27, 2018 10:27 AM

For those public displays of opulence and false gods, sure take em, as i don't see any islam, jew, hindu or buddist people flaunting wealth (expensive scenes) to show their 'christmas spirit'. Flog it and buy food for the poor, that's the real 'christmas spirit'
Good riddance of that light and noise pollution.

Just do that stuff in your own home, there it should be safe, and if it's not safe in your own home, you got bigger things to worry about then a baby prophet.

I spoke to a colleague at work a few years ago, he said he wasn't allowed to go to Mecca because his brother had some money problems and lived in poverty.
He needed to take care of that first.
That stunned me so much i started objectively comparing our 5 big religions, and how they do stuff like this. I know a lot more now, but belief a lot less.

JonathanDecember 27, 2018 11:51 AM

I am afraid that the future will only see more and more theft and violence. It isn't as if the world is getting better and more friendly...

Chalk it up to what you may believe, but I haven't seen the world making steps for better peace and empathy toward others. It is going in the opposite direction, and everybody is breaking off into their own camps (people who agree with their opinions and beliefs.

I believe this nonsense sprang forward with the advent of Myspace, Facebook, Twitter and other social media. Algorithms choose to show posts to friends that may believe or agree with a particular post so as not to aggravate others. Which leads some people into believing that their own opinion is the correct opinion since nobody is in disagreement.

I hope we can spark positive change like being kind to one another and to treat others the way we want to be treated. I hope they still teach these things in kindergarten. We need to start reinforcing that everybody is entitled to their own opinions, but breaking the law is still illegal and shouldn't be some game.

albertDecember 27, 2018 11:53 AM

I wouldn't read too much into these thefts. Show me a sheaf of interviews of the thieves first.

When I was growing up, we always had a Nativity scene in our living room during the holidays, as did most of my friends from school.

@Phaete,
Islam specifically prohibits images of humans. Hindus have images and statues of their many gods. Buddists, not surprisingly, have the Buddah, in image and statuary. I'm not sure about Judaism, but I've believe it prohibits such imagery as well.

. .. . .. --- ....

Buddhists December 27, 2018 1:01 PM

Some rich Buddhists display expensive marble statues of dragons, flowers and Buddha in their front yards

WilliamDecember 27, 2018 1:25 PM

What sort of community displays baby Jesus in the manger before December 25th?

There's a whole order in which the figures such as shepherds and wise men are added to the Nativity Scene leading up to Christmas, it's supposed to be like a sort of 3-D Advent Calendar and one of the main rules is to not display the baby Jesus in the Nativity Scene until the 25th, when his birth is honored

...but the timestamp on the surveillance camera in West Bend is 12/12 and the baby Jesus is on display!? how do they know these 'thefts' aren't the good Lord's intervention? or the work of religious zealots? Curious the article portrays women as the typical creche thief. What's going on there?

OtterDecember 27, 2018 8:48 PM

Nativity displays flaunt wealth. Not piety.

Those who have been abused by the wealthy or the pious resent it.

MarkDecember 30, 2018 7:53 PM

The past two years have seen someone cut my light strings, and steal 3 lighted geese from my lawn. However, the prize is my Santa Coutndown Clock. It is out from THanksgiving till after Christmas and countsdown the days, hours, minutes, seconds to Christmas. This year I've rigged it with a "Rape Alarm" so that if someone pulls the clock from the ground, the wire is pulled and the alarm will sound at 120db.

All quiet so far.... :-)

cryptomaniacDecember 31, 2018 6:22 AM

@Phaete

as i don't see any islam, jew, hindu or buddist people flaunting wealth (expensive scenes) to show their 'christmas spirit'.

Obviously you haven't seen islamists slashing each other in public to celebrate ashura, or jews celebrating hanuka which actually is the celebration of a slaughter, or jews and muslims slaughtering animals halal and kosher style, and I won't go anywhere near what's going on with hindus, which if you have even been in India could be truely appalling (but of course it doesn't matter as they can do as they please in their countries). As for buddists, they have golden statues and you can see them everywhere in buddist countries.

And speaking of Mecca, have you even been near a masjid with its loudspeakers at full volume? Have you ever tried to have some juice during the ramadan?

So your disaffection with the "Christmas spirit" really has no base. As a matter of fact, stealing the Nativity displays is something that started in Europe in predominantly Christian countries a few years ago and the perpetrators were anarchists and antifa who are annoyed only by displays of Christian faith and at the same time scream about "antisemitism" and "islamophobia". You can see many of them boasting about the destruction of Nativity displays on Indymedia, which is funded by you know who.

Last year, in a Greek town the communist mayor decided that instead of a Christmas tree he would erect a copy of Tatlin's tower, and all his peers seemed very happy despite the cost. Then when people decided to make a proper Christmas tree with their own money, someone destroyed it at night. So it's not a question of "wealth", it's a question of political motivation.

@albert

Show me a sheaf of interviews of the thieves first.

The thieves have often posted about their deeds and motivation on Indymedia.

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