PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — Residents at the Jeanne Jugan Residence of the Little Sisters of the Poor in Pawtucket are heartbroken that someone stole the statues from the elder care facility’s nativity scene.
According to surveillance footage from about 1:30 a.m. Saturday, three men, two of them wearing hooded shirts, stole the nativity statues from the small manger.
“It sort of saddened and dampened the spirit in the home when they know that the first thing that was put up for the Christmas season — because it’s the most meaningful thing — was taken from us,” Sister Joan Ross, one of the nuns, told Eyewitness News.
The statues were not reported missing until the next day, when an employee of the home noticed their absence. The employees then rewound surveillance video, and found the theft captured in progress.
“There was a light” on the scene, “so they disconnected it, and then took the two figurines and one of the reindeer,” Sister Joan said.
Responses from residents showed their disappointment.
“Why would they do something like that? I have no idea.”
“We can’t understand why they took them.”
The sentiment from everyone was echoed by one resident: “Just bring it back, please.”
“If they bring it back, we will not [file criminal charges],” said the facility’s president and CEO, known as Mother Mercy. “They should just bring it back and we’ll put it back [on display], no questions asked.”
The Pawtucket Police department has assigned a detective to investigate the case.
The international organization of The Little Sisters of the Poor dates back to 1839, when Saint Jeanne Jugan first took in an elderly woman in need, and today the organization continues in Roman Catholic traditions to care for the elderly and appeal for the public’s help to do it.