The folks at Star Provisions are eagerly praying for the return of Jesus.
Sometime on Wednesday, a thief who perhaps has not contemplated the possibility of eternal damnation swiped the Christ Child from a manger scene set up in the West Midtown store.
“Merry Christmas,” said a disgusted Dana Kirkpatrick, floor manager at Star Provisions. “It’s wrong on so many levels.”
The shop was pretty busy on Wednesday so employees have no idea who robbed the cradle.
“This is a hand-carved set from Germany. It’s kind of pricey,” said Tim Gaddis, the store’s cheese monger. A former Gilmer County law enforcement officer, we asked how he’d go about investigating the crime if he still wore a badge.
“I would talk to everybody who was working that day, review security tapes,” said Gaddis, whose anguished tweet earlier today alerted us to the caper. “But fingerprints would be pointless.”
Were he to apprehend the culprit, the thief could expect another come-to-Jesus moment.
“You steal baby Jesus, you’re going to jail,” Gaddis said.
The store, part of the gourmet empire that includes Abattoir, Bacchanalia, and Floataway Café, is selling several different nativity sets. The one missing its Jesus would go for $139 but is pretty much worthless without its main attraction.
“That is the whole purpose of the nativity,” Kirkpatrick noted.
Star Provisions is not offering a reward – it just seemed too untoward (perhaps too King Herod-like?) to put a price on Jesus’ head. Gaddis figures the thief knows who he or she is, and hopes to appeal to the better angel’s of that person’s nature.
“Jesus could return quietly in a brown paper bag,” he said. “We just want it back.”
- Jennifer Brett/The Buzzfirstname.lastname@example.org