Religious tradition and modern social media combined in a Virginia city this week in a crime-solving episode with a seasonal touch.
Tuesday night, Fredericksburg police said, a figurine of the Baby Jesus was taken from a shopping center. A photograph showed an empty space between Joseph and Mary.
One way the disappearance was announced was on the police force’s Facebook page.
“Who stole Baby Jesus from the Central Park nativity scene?” was the question police posted.
On Friday, police posted this update: “Baby Jesus recovered!”
Detectives recovered the figurine Thursday evening, and apparently Facebook played a key role.
A woman “had uploaded a picture of the stolen Christ child on her Facebook page,” police said. “A concerned citizen” printed the image and comments on the page and turned them over to authorities.
A subsequent investigation, police said, led to a home “where the Baby Jesus was found.”
As of the latest Facebook posting by police, no charges had been filed, but the investigation was continuing.