Greensboro, NC -- Greensboro College wants its shepherd figure back. The figure was stolen from the college's Nativity scene Thursday morning.
A campus officer said the theft happened around 12:45am. He said he was watching the display when he saw a man acting suspiciously near the corner of West Market Street and College Place.
When he approached the man, two others came out from behind the manger, grabbed the shepherd figure and ran east toward downtown. Two security officers chased the men but were unable to find them
"The first thing I thought was, 'Really? Steal a Nativity figure?' and I then I thought, 'Again?" said Lex Alexander, Director of External Relations for Greensboro College.
In 2007, the original Nativity scene was destroyed by vandals. That set had been a gift from Jefferson-Pilot and had been on their Sedgefield property since 1937. It had been on Greensboro College's campus since 1990.
Theater Professor John Saari created a replacement set that was built and first displayed in 2008. Since that time, campus security has kept watch while it is on display.
"It was a labor of love," said Saari. "When you put that much time and effort into the pieces, you'd like to have them be there for the community."
"It was a projection of a shepherd as a good shepherd holding a baby lamb, actually, in his arms, so it's kind of a unique piece," Saari said about the stolen piece.
The stolen figure is valued at about $2,500.
"It's frustrating and exasperating and sort of makes you wonder where some people's Christmas spirit is," said Alexander. "We would just very much like to have the figure back."
The suspicious individual that was first spotted is described as a white male in his late teens or early 20s, about 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighing about 130 pounds, wearing a black pants, a black, hooded jacket, and sneakers of unknown color. No description of the other two men was available.
If you have any information, call Calvin Gilmore, Director of Campus Security and Safety at (336) 272-7102 ext. 245.