The nativity scene at Iona Grammar School in New Rochelle’s north end was too beautiful for Brother Sean Moffett couldn’t leave inside for his first Christmas season as headmaster.
So, against many cautions the keep it safe, he placed the 12-piece set, with some figures five feet high, out in front of the school at 173 Stratton Road.
“They said, ‘No, you can’t put them out there. They’ll get stolen,’” he said today. “And I said, ‘Let’s take our chances.’”
You see what’s coming, don’t you?
The set depicting the birth of Jesus and the arrival of the Three Kings, stood there, admired and untouched, about a week. This morning, three of the pieces – one of the three kings, a camel and a goat – were gone.
“The camel and the king were closest to the road,” Moffett said. “Why they wanted a donkey, I don’t know.”
They were large figures. The camel, in a sitting position, was large enough that small children could sit on it, he said. The figures, classic-looking plaster pieces, were purchased about five years by parents who raised money for them, he said. He did not know how much they cost, but said they are gorgeous.
“I had gotten all sorts of compliments from neighbors delighted to see this out there,” he said.
He reported the theft to the police and is hoping the three pieces can be returned – and still displayed outside.
“This is something that’s so beautiful, it should be presented to the world,” he said.