Somebody stole the life-size baby Jesus from the Nativity scene set up in the historic Hancock Cemetery next to Quincy City Hall

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The $30,000 display had been installed for the holiday season with the figure of the infant Jesus glued to the crib that is the centerpiece of the scene. Gluing down the figure was supposed to deter vandals.

Police are now tracking clues to the disappearance of the imported fiberglass figure, which was reported missing Monday.

The other figures in the large display, which is lighted at night, are all screwed to the manger's base.

‘‘I have no idea what kind of mindless person would do this kind of thing,'' said Quincy Park Commissioner Thomas Koch. ‘‘It reminds me of the nitwits you read about turning over monuments in cemeteries.''

The city's Catholic churches two years ago paid for the large creche depicting the birth of Jesus Christ, replacing a city-owned manger display set up on the lawn of the Thomas Crane Public Library for decades, according to officials. A minor controversy erupted in 2001 when the new manger scene was placed directly in front of city hall, prompting complaints about displaying a religious symbol on public property.