A baby Jesus figurine has been returned to the Nativity scene at a Valencia mall after it went missing earlier this week.
A Westfield Valencia Town Center employee found the figurine on the property Wednesday afternoon, marketing director Stacie House told KTLA-TV. The theft happened Monday evening, but no charges were filed with police as mall officials asked for the figurine’s safe return.
The theft angered shoppers, who said some things should be left alone for the Christmas holiday, even if it may have been a prank.
"I don’t think that's funny at all, I think that’s totally disrespectful to people who actually know about Jesus, who know about Christmas and celebrate that,” Jamie Ross told KTLA.
It wasn’t the first time the baby Jesus figurine was taken from the display over the years, but mall representatives said they were glad it was back.
“We’re so grateful that he’s back as part of our holiday tradition here,” House told CBS Los Angeles. “It’s certainly part of the magic of the holiday.”
The mall displays the outdoor Nativity set in the patio area of the mall during the Christmas season.
Grace Baptist Church donates the Nativity scene to the mall annually for the community during the holiday season, according to Mike Gaston, lead pastor of outreach and adult education.