NEIGHBOURS have been left shocked and heartbroken after vandals struck at a nativity scene.
The thugs broke into the crib at Town End Garden, Kirkham, and stole baby Jesus.
The valuable plaster figure was later found by schoolchildren and their mum from The Willows Catholic Primary School.
Kirkham North Ward councillor Elaine Silverwood said she was devastated when she found the baby had gone.
She added: “It is very upsetting. We just can’t understand it.
“Whoever did this came with a crow bar and screw driver to get past the lock and get into the crib.
“The strange thing is they only took the baby Jesus away. Nothing else was touched.
“Crib figures like these are incredibly expensive.
“We were lucky, our figures were donated by St Joseph’s Church. They have been refurbished in the past by a man in town who does the sculpture work for Madame Tussauds in Blackpool
“The crib is so lovely the children really love it and were so excited when we had its blessing the other night.
“We are going to look at the pieces when we get them from the police and see if we can repair him.
“The police said there was nothing on the CCTV cameras in the street.”
She said they had found a little doll and wrapped it up in swaddling clothes as a temporary replacement for the nativity scene figurine.
“We have re-secured the crib but obviously we will have to try to make it even more secure in the future.
“Who would have thought it. It is senseless.”
Headteacher Sharon Barnett, from The Willows Catholic Primary School, said when the children brought the statue in they contacted the police and have handed it over.
She added: “It was two of our children who found baby Jesus.
“Amelie and Lucy Morris were walking passed the crib with their mum Karen when they saw the damage.
“They were very upset.
“But they kept an eye out as they walked to school and found the statue further along the street and brought it to us.
“One leg has been broken off but the rest is in one piece. It might be repairable.”
A Lancashire Police spokesman said officers were investigating.
She said: “We had a call in the morning from the Willows.
“They told us a pupil had found the broken baby Jesus figurine on their way to school.
“The school called us to ask the neighbourhood policing team to come and take it away and return it to its rightful owner.”