New baby Jesus arrives

Joanne Jackson and daughter Aniesha, 7, of Philadelphia look at the Nativity scene at Independence Mall that has a new Jesus. The original plastic baby and his cradle disappeared two weekends ago.

The stolen baby Jesus hasn't been recovered, but at noon today a new one took his place in the Nativity scene at Independence Mall.

The creche was set up early on Saturday, Dec. 13, but by Monday, the plastic baby Jesus and his cradle had vanished.

Rangers at Independence National Historical Park scoured video footage without seeing the apparent theft.

So a replacement was needed by the Christmas Creche Committee, the group that has set up the display for a dozen years on the mall or in Welcome Park.

The committee's John Stanton turned to the DiCocco Family St. Jude Shops, a religious goods dealer with several area stores. 

Today, in a ceremony at the creche, near Fifth and Market Streets, Norma DiCocco, founder of the business, and her son, Louis, company president, donated a new lookalike and a cradle for the committee to display.

The baby, made in Italy, was obtained from a U.S. importer.

Read more breaking news in our From The Source blog.

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