Searching for Jesus, Mary and Joseph: Family’s priceless nativity stolen by teens

Iowa News

While porch pirates often strike ahead of Christmas Day, it’s proving not the only target for thieves.

A Davenport man told Local Four News he stumbled upon a group of teens stealing his Christmas decorations.

Dave Meumann said he interrupted the group before they got away with much on Friday night.

He said he was working when he heard something outside. He then went out to confront them, nearly getting ahold of one of the teens before they made an escape in a van.

Put the one they managed to take away from the house was the most precious item. 

Now, he’s asking neighbors and friends on social media to be on the lookout for the handmade manger they stole.

Dave Meumann said, “Out of all Christmas decorations that could have been stolen was a small manger scene.”

Like the Whos in Whoville, the Grinch’s spirit has softly soured the holidays this year for Dave Meumann and his family.

Meumann said, “Those that are out having this kind of “fun” is they might want to think about really what they’re taking away from families.”

But Meumann said the one thing thieves got away with…

“The manger itself, as far as the item itself has absolutely no dollar value to it what so ever, it’s basically a piece of wood with paint on it,” he said.

Now leaves their yard feeling empty after years of tradition.

Meumann said, “I know there are far worse crimes out there but to have that taken away really tugs at your heart.”

It’s because for more than two decades the small nativity has provided Meumann and his family with a bounty of Christmas memories.

Meumann said, “We received this manger in 1994 when our last child was born, and we’ve been able to watch our kids grow up and have fun with it.”

He added, “It was given to my wife by a gentleman, a friend and unfortunately he passed away shortly after that, and this was 25 years ago, so year after year, we’ve been able to put that manger out and been able to share that memory. “

Now his grandchildren gather around it for the holiday season as well, and that’s why Meumann has one simple wish.

Meumann said, “Simply be returned. No questions asked. They could put it back in the cover of night, or they could put it right in my hands.”

And that’s the change of heart Meumann said means for his family a continued joy for his family.

Meumann said, “Memories that you share with your family and what the real message of Christmas is through that manger scene.”

Meumann also told Local Four News the thieves scattered his other decorations and cords across his yard.

He shared what happened on social media and since people have been sharing similar experiences with their own handmade displays passed down in their family found missing or destroyed in their driveway or street. 

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