Jaiden Newcomer, 9, of York, shows off his giant pumpkin, which a thief stole but returned Sunday with a note of apology.
Jaiden Newcomer, 9, of York, shows off his giant pumpkin, which a thief stole but returned Sunday with a note of apology. (Submitted photo)

A York City boy has his prized giant pumpkin back after the professed thief returned it Sunday.

Amy Newcomer, mother of 9-year-old Jaiden Newcomer, said the family returned to their home in the 1200 block of Edison Street on Sunday evening after being away for the weekend to find the pumpkin back on the front porch of the home.

"He's very excited," Newcomer said. "He's beside himself."

Jaiden won the 100-pound pumpkin by correctly guessing its weight at an Oktoberfest celebration at Cape Horn Beverage in Windsor Township, said his grandmother, Josie Tomchick of Dallastown.

Four adult family members worked together to lift it onto the porch when they first brought it home, according to Tomchick.

"They put it on a wheelbarrow to move it," she said.

Note of apology: Accompanying the returned giant pumpkin was a note apologizing for the theft, Newcomer said.

The note said: "I'm really sorry about taking your pumpkin. It was wrong of me. You earned the pumpkin. I didn't think my actions through nor realize who they were affecting. Sincerest apologies."

Newcomer said she was surprised the pumpkin didn't end up smashed and destroyed.

"I never thought it would actually be returned," she said.

Even Jaiden initially wasn't so sure the returned pumpkin was the same one that was stolen.

The stolen one had the shape of a crescent moon on it and Jaiden examined the returned one to make sure it bore the same mark, Newcomer said.

"He ran there to make sure it was on there," she said. "Our great pumpkin was on the front porch."

More pumpkins: As word began to spread that the pumpkin had been stolen, offers to replace it started to roll in to the Newcomer family.

A Cumberland County plant nursery gave Jaiden a replacement pumpkin, and Cape Horn Beverage planned to give him a new but smaller one Monday.

Tomchick, Jaiden and his brother, 5-year-old Peyton, went to Ashcombe Farm and Greenhouses on Friday to pick up the new pumpkin.

Now Jaiden has 255 pounds of pumpkin, Newcomer said.

Pay it forward: All the generosity bestowed on Jaiden was not lost on him.

He told his mother that he wanted to use the pumpkins to "make pumpkin pies for people who can't afford it," Newcomer said.

But the pumpkins he has aren't meant for cooking, so instead Newcomer said they plan to buy pumpkin pies and donate them to a charity.

-- Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com. Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.