Monday, December 05, 2005

Santa Clause is Watching You GRANNY!

Just WHO is trying to steal Christmas?

EUREKA SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) — Virginia Voiers thought she was taking part in a rambunctious holiday custom, but a carriage driver thought differently and called police when he saw the 70-year-old grandmother stealing the baby Jesus from the city's nativity scene.

Jesus is back on display after an Arkansas grandmother snarred the statue in a holiday custom of taking the statue, intending to return it.

Voiers was ticketed for misdemeanor theft by an officer who quickly caught up with her van after she foisted the statue.

"It was a lark, it wasn't any serious stealing," Voiers told the Lovely County Citizen newspaper of Eureka Springs. "My granddaughter commented that no one had taken the baby Jesus this year and said, 'Grandma?' I said, 'Oh, what the heck.'"

Usually, the baby Jesus is returned by the thief. Voiers said her Saturday caper was the first time she'd taken anything from the nativity.

"I didn't know we had a tattletale downtown," said Voiers, who is also a Sunday school teacher at a Methodist church. She said she told her pastor what happened.

"He said, 'Bless you, child. Go and sin no more,'" she said, and added that he asked, '"You didn't tell them you are a Methodist, did you?'"

Voiers was caught because the Beta Sigma Phi sorority, which erects the nativity scene, accessorized this year's edition with a security camera that is monitored at police headquarters.

A dispatcher saw Voiers taking the statue and put out a call to officers. Carriage driver Thomas Tharp heard the broadcast on his police scanner and cantered to the nativity at Basin Park. He relayed the van's license number to police, who pulled over the vehicle that held Voiers and several family members. In all, three police cars were at the scene.

Police Chief Earl Hyatt said he is taking the theft seriously. The charge carries a possible penalty of a year in jail and $1,000 fine.

"Yes, I've been a bad girl," Voiers said. She said she would have returned the statue.

A seventy-year-old grandmother and Sunday School teacher steals the baby Jesus which is monitored by a security camera erected by a sorority and a carriage driver gallops to the rescue.

Now I've heard it all.[thanks to andante for this amusing little newsbite]

By the way, isn't President Bush a Methodist?

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