Frank McKee stands outside the West Manchester Township police station after retrieving his wayward baby Jesus nativity figure, stolen on Christmas night
Frank McKee stands outside the West Manchester Township police station after retrieving his wayward baby Jesus nativity figure, stolen on Christmas night 2012 and recovered by police on Feb. 26, 2013. (Shelby Seaton)

A 19-year-old West Manchester Township man accused of stealing a baby Jesus figure from neighbor Frank McKee's nativity scene on Christmas night returned to the scene of the crime Wednesday.

"He came to my house ... and apologized," McKee said. "I told him he was forgiven before he even (apologized)."

McKee said he believes the young man was being sincere.

"A guy from Philly can spot a phony three blocks away," the Philadelphia native said.

On Thursday morning, McKee went to the West Manchester Township police station and retrieved his 14-inch painted concrete nativity figure. Officer Justin Hobbs had McKee sign a property sheet that read, "one baby Jesus.

This 14-inch concrete figure of baby Jesus was stolen from the nativity scene in Frank McKee’s front yard on Christmas night 2012. Police recovered
This 14-inch concrete figure of baby Jesus was stolen from the nativity scene in Frank McKee's front yard on Christmas night 2012. Police recovered it after one of the alleged thieves posted a photo of the figure on Facebook. (Shelby Seaton)
"

Asked whether he intended to take more precautions with the figure next Christmas, McKee joked he plans to put an exploding dye pack in the manger.

Police have not yet released the name of the man who allegedly helped steal the baby Jesus, nor the name of a juvenile accomplice.

The man posted a photo of the stolen creche figure on his Facebook page. A good Samaritan alerted McKee to the photo, and McKee called police on Tuesday. Officers recovered baby Jesus that night.

McKee, with help from local youths, erects a nativity scene every year in the front yard of his Wedgewood Way home. He's had the baby Jesus figure for 14 years and said it has sentimental value for him.

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