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West Bend Nativity scene taken down early after vandalism

WEST BEND, Wis. -- A Nativity scene in West Bend was taken down on Tuesday, just one day after Christmas.

The holiday display was torn down a few weeks early after it was vandalized twice.

“I’m disappointed yes,” Display organizer Judy Steffes said. “I’m just without words.”

On December 17, West Bend police said the arm and head of the baby Jesus figurine were removed. The figurine was later replaced. However, on December 24, police said a woman was spotted carrying the replacement. When police confronted the 21-year-old, she dropped the figurine and ran. She was later arrested on theft charges.

After talking with the city, Steffes decided to take down the display on Tuesday.

"I called the downtown and said I just can't trust it with New Year's coming up," she said.

A local resident agreed with the decision.

"Well I would take it down too,” West Bend resident Dan Chitwood said. “I like to see it out here it’s beautiful, but I don’t blame them, you got to take care of that stuff or someone else will wreck it

Steffes said she hopes to restore the original baby Jesus figurine. Next year, organizers are thinking about putting the display in a storefront where it can’t be touched. Police do not know who initially vandalized the figurine.

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