SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - A 20-year-old Santa Cruz man is behind bars after stealing from the Messiah Lutheran Church nativity scene early Friday morning.
California Highway Patrol officers were in the area of High Street in Santa Cruz around 1:00 a.m. Friday when 20-year old Ding Tai nearly ran in front of their patrol car with a large wooden cut-out of one of the wise men.
When officers tried making contact with Tai, he ran.
He eventually dropped the cut-out and after a pursuit was arrested.
Richard Rice, a Pastor with Messiah Lutheran Church, says this is the second time in two years things have been stolen from the scene.
Last year Mary and Joseph were stolen and never returned.
Tai was booked on charges for being publicly intoxicated, petty theft, and resisting arrest.
KION’s Ashley Keehn will have the full story at 5p.m. and 6p.m.