Police said they recovered this baby Jesus figure stolen on Christmas night from a West Manchester Twp. nativity scene. Someone spotted a photo of it on
Police said they recovered this baby Jesus figure stolen on Christmas night from a West Manchester Twp. nativity scene. Someone spotted a photo of it on Facebook and alerted owner Frank McKee, police said. (Courtesy of West Manchester Twp. Police)

A baby Jesus figure stolen from a West Manchester Township nativity scene on Christmas night has reappeared.

A vision of the 14-inch concrete figure, owned by Frank McKee, was spotted on Facebook by someone who alerted McKee, he said, prompting him to call police on Tuesday.

"It's kind of like Christmas Day three months after Christmas," McKee told The York Dispatch. "I'm very, very pleased. I'm also grateful to the police for their persistence in this."

West Manchester Township Police said they asked the man who posted the photo on his Facebook page to come to the station and talk with them. When he did, he admitted taking part in the theft, police said.

He told officers the baby Jesus was at the Filbert Street home of a juvenile.

Frank McKee said someone alerted him to this photo of his stolen baby Jesus nativity figure on Facebook. McKee called police, who said they’ve
Frank McKee said someone alerted him to this photo of his stolen baby Jesus nativity figure on Facebook. McKee called police, who said they've recovered the concrete figure and will file theft charges against a man and a juvenile. (Courtesy of Facebook)

Officer Michael Jordan went to the home Tuesday night and retrieved the $400 figure, police said.

McKee said Jordan then left a voicemail message for him with the good news.

Other incidents? Police have not released the name of the man they say took part in the theft, saying he's being investigated for "other incidents."

The York Dispatch is withholding the 19-year-old man's name because charges have not yet been filed. He did not immediately respond to a Facebook message seeking comment.

Court records reveal he is currently on house arrest. Last month, he pleaded guilty in two separate cases to driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Police said he and the juvenile are facing charges of theft and receiving stolen property.

'Undaunted': McKee hopes to retrieve the baby Jesus from police sometime Wednesday evening and said the theft hasn't dissuaded him from continuing his annual nativity tradition.

"We are undaunted," he said.

McKee confirmed he's neighbors with the man who allegedly helped steal the baby Jesus.

"I specifically recall his mother complimenting me on the beauty of my creche," he said.

Frank McKee, with help from neighborhood youths, erects a nativity scene every year in the front yard of his West Manchester Twp. home.
Frank McKee, with help from neighborhood youths, erects a nativity scene every year in the front yard of his West Manchester Twp. home.

The fact that the man put a photo of the stolen figure on a social media site could be "his cry to be heard," McKee speculated.

"I hold no malice toward him," McKee said. "I hope he gets his life together, if this is the kind of stuff that floats his boat."

The background: McKee, with help from local youths, erects a nativity scene every year in the front yard of his Wedgewood Way home.

He said he's had the baby Jesus figure for 14 years and that it has sentimental value.

"We give the baby Jesus to one of the families in the neighborhood to hold until Christmas Eve," he said, then the McKees and their neighbors gather at the nativity on Christmas Eve to lay the figure in its creche.

"One of our neighbors reads from Luke," and everyone drinks cider and hot chocolate, McKee said. "It's just a nice thing."

McKee's Honey Run neighborhood also has a large luminary festival every year around Christmastime, and people from all over drive there to see the lighted displays, he said.

-- Staff writer Liz Evans Scolforo can also be reached at levans@yorkdispatch.com.