GPS technology used to track baby Jesus
* I just seen this information on the Today show and thought of Maeberry and Kerst after thieves stole from them.
Technology keeps track of nativity, letting pastor sleep in heavenly peace.
It's a seasonal crime perpetrated by the ultimate grinch -- snatching sweet baby Jesus, so tender and mild, from an al fresco nativity scene.
One west suburban church is fighting back with a GPS tracker that could lead police, as if guided by a bright star above, directly to the Son of God (figure).
"There's a risk putting these things in public but it's a risk we want to take," said the Rev. George Smith of St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Glen Ellyn. "GPS is kind of a fun way of being able to track it."
The GPS devices are being offered by BrickHouse Security, a New York-based company lending the hardware and tracking service free of charge to churches and synagogues for the holiday season.
The trackers sell for $300 to $800, depending on the model, and also require a monthly subscription fee for the service.
"Churches can't really afford to invest in hardware," said Todd Morris, CEO of BrickHouse Security. "We want to help out where we can."
The device, which comes in several models, is small enough to fit in a cigarette pack. BrickHouse tells those using them how to affix the GPS devices so they aren't obvious to thieves. They can't be removed easily, Morris said.
St. Mark's life-size nativity figures were created by Richard Rush, a parishioner until his death three years ago. Rush was a model builder who also created artwork at the Mirage hotel in Las Vegas and for Disney theme parks.
A decade ago, thieves heisted the church's wise men, dropping them at a ski hill in Lisle, Smith said.
Smith said he thought the motivation behind Jesus-theft is people drawn to "tampering with the sacred."
"You want to have an encounter" with a higher power, he said. "In a way, I think I'm OK with that."