SCOTT SIMON, host:
There's a new technological innovation in holiday displays. The Associated Press reports this week that a number of churches and synagogues are installing global positioning systems chips inside nativity scenes and menorahs so that they can be quickly located if they are stolen. Apparently, a fair number of purloined baby Jesuses and misappropriated menorahs make it onto police blotters every year.
Already this season, a baby Jesus was stolen from the First United Methodist Church of Kittanning, Pennsylvania and replaced with a pumpkin. A Lubavitch synagogue in Philadelphia will install a GPS on one menorah and a camera on another. The rabbi there says it's sad but it's the reality we're faced with.
A GPS chip can guide police to the pilfered figurine or menorah so they can determine if the thief is a prankster, plunderer or bigot. Maybe even the suspicion that the three wise men may be bearing a chip inside their gold, frankincense and myrrh will be enough to deter menorah muggers and baby Jesus burglars. In other words, so be good, for goodness sakes.
(Soundbite of song "Santa Claus is Coming To Town")
He knows when you are sleeping And He knows when you're awake And He knows if you've been bad or good So you better be good for goodness sake! O! You better be good for goodness sake! O! You better watch out You better not cry You better not pout I'm telling you why
SIMON: Is the governor hearing this? This is NPR News.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.