The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

November 20, 2013

Thieves steal nativity scene from homeless shelter

By Francis Scarcella
The Daily Item

— SUNBURY — Police are looking for the thief who entered a storage shed at a city homeless shelter and stole a three-piece nativity scene.

“I was flabbergasted when I was informed these were missing,” said Pam Steffen, executive director of Haven Ministries in Sunbury. “Who would steal religious statues from a homeless shelter?”

The 4½-foot-tall Joseph and Mary, and baby Jesus, manger and all the lighting were removed from a loft inside the storage shed, which remains unlocked for individuals to drop off clothes and food after hours.

Steffen most recently saw the nativity scene in August, when she was looking for something in the storage unit. “The Christmas tree and wreath and other decorations are still there,” Steffen said. “I am just in shock this would happen.”

Steffen said she discovered the missing decorations when she sent an employee to gather the figures to get ready them to be displayed.

“When I was told this I was devastated,” she said. “I just can’t even believe this would happen.”

“I labeled each one of the statues with HMI,” she said. “So they can be identified.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Sunbury police at (570) 286-4584.

n Email comments to fscarcella@dailyitem.com.