The National Park Service is investigating the theft of a nearly life-sized statuette of a baby Jesus that was stolen from a crèche at Fifth and Market Streets near Independence Hall.

According to Jane Cowley of the Park Service, the theft was discovered over the weekend by a member of the maintenance staff. The statuette was due to be replaced by the Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Knights of Columbus.

Cowley said this was the first time in memory that such a theft had occurred. The statuette had been bolted to the floor of the display. No other parts of the Nativity Scene were missing.

Contact staff writer Dwight Ott at 215-854-2797 or dott@phillynews.com.