Three youths have been given a ‘slap on the wrist’ by police after they stole a baby Jesus doll and a lamb from a Perth nativity scene.
Police Scotland has confirmed that a 17-year-old girl and two males, aged 18 and 19, have been charged in connection with the theft and were subsequently issued with a recorded police warning, meaning they won’t appear in court.
The theft — described by Margaret Steele, session clerk of St John’s Kirk, as “taking away” the meaning of Christmas — took place on Monday, December 5, at 11.30pm from the nativity display, located outside the Perth church.
The baby Jesus life-size doll and the lamb were later returned to police, undamaged, following an appeal by officers and criticism from both Mrs Steele and John Swinney, MSP for Perthshire North.
The SNP politician had described the theft as a “very sad piece of news.”
Last Thursday, a perspex screen was put up to protect the nativity display from further thefts.
The baby Jesus doll was also stolen last year but, as with this year’s incident, was later returned.
A spokesperson for Police Scotland said: “Police Scotland can confirm that a 17-year-old girl and two males, aged 18 and 19, have been charged in connection with a theft at St John’s Place, Perth, and they were issued with a recorded police warning.”
The recorded police warning scheme was introduced in January to allow officers to make ‘greater use of their discretion’ when dealing with minor crimes. It replaced the formal adult warning system and was extended to include 16 and 17-year-olds.