Reacting to strings of vandalism and theft that typically unfold against Christmas nativities each year, churches are getting creative in their approach to combatting petty criminals.
With the help of BrickHouse Security, a company that provides GPS and home security devices, houses of worship are routinely offered free trackers to place inside nativity characters. The free program has been running for years, but the demand has reportedly increased of late, according to Beta Beat.
The tracking devices are put inside hollow figurines. If and when a culprit attempts to steal them, the device sends a text message or computer alert letting pastors know what's going on.
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It's at that point that they can try to track down the thief on foot or simply call police to do the same.
BrickHouse Security CEO Todd Morris said that every church with a nativity usually ends up running into problems at some point, which is why his company offers the service — one that is highly appreciated by the houses of worship that use it.
Consider that just days after a Jesus statue was stolen from a nativity outside the Indiana Masonic Home in Franklin, Indiana, this month, BrickHouse donated a GPS system to the retirement home, offering peace of mind.
"Our security will be contacted if it's even moved," Jerry Loper, who directs facilities at the community center, told the Indianapolis Star. "We are prepared."
In a 2012 news release, BrickHouse said that Christ is the most popular victim to be stolen, but noted that figurines representing Santa, elves, menorahs and other symbols are also at risk.
(H/T: Beta Beat)
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