Skip to main content

1 year later, stolen Baby Jesus returned to St. Cloud nativity scene

Unfortunately, it was a day late.

A year after he disappeared from his manger in St. Cloud, Baby Jesus has returned.

The figure, which dates back to the 1940s, was mysteriously stolen from the nativity scene outside the U.S. Bank branch in downtown last year.

And one day after Christmas 2019, he was placed in his manger as if nothing had happened.

According to the St. Cloud Times, on Thursday afternoon, a bank employee noticed someone out by the manger and went to investigate, but by the time they reached the scene, the person had vanished — and Baby Jesus was there.

As the paper notes, "a doll swaddled in cloth" stood in for the infant savior this year. 

There's no word yet on who returned the real one, and still no word on who stole him in the first place.

The theft of the antique Baby Jesus figure — which is owned by the Stearns History Museum — was just one of several similar incidents that happened not just in Minnesota (where there were at least two other cases in 2018), but across the country last year.

The spate of Jesus thefts even caught the attention of the New York Times, which noted that nativity thieves had struck in Tennessee, West Virginia, Wisconsin and "plenty of other places" as well. 

What's more, you know a phenomenon like this officially becomes a "thing" when it has its own Wikipedia page — which Baby Jesus theft most certainly does.

Next Up


Is an Amazon grocery store coming to Woodbury?

There's six rumored stores in the Twin Cities.


Man sentenced to life in prison for 2021 murder of girlfriend

Lacy Jo Krube, 36, was found unresponsive at her St. Paul home, after she'd been beaten in Brooklyn Park.

Richfield High School

New threat prompts closure of Richfield secondary schools

The new threat comes after a shooting outside the Richfield High School football game Friday night.

Screen Shot 2022-09-25 at 6.09.38 PM

Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg to headline Duluth rally

The rally will take place at Leif Erikson Park on Oct. 1.

Screen Shot 2022-09-26 at 6.09.43 AM

Stella's Fish Cafe closes temporarily to investigate viral rodent video

The Uptown restaurant said it was closing temporarily so it could investigate the claims.

Governor Tim Walz

Walz, judge in dispute over Feeding Our Future case

A Ramsey County judge disputed Walz's claims that the Minnesota Department of Education was ordered by the court to resume payments to Feeding Our Future.


2 dead, 1 with life-threatening injuries in Hwy. 7 crash

Both drivers were not wearing their seatbelt, according to the State Patrol.

Screen Shot 2022-09-25 at 11.50.33 AM

15-year-old Richfield football game shooting suspect arrested

A 16-year-old accused of instigating the altercation is also in custody.

Police tape

3 arrested after homicide, burglary in Inver Grove Heights

Charges of first-degree murder and first-degree burglary are pending.

fire, firefighter

Woman dies after becoming trapped in Waseca house fire

Police tried to enter the home but heavy smoke prevented them from getting inside.


Minnesota 'Baby Jesus' thefts seem to be part of a national trend

Manger thefts are apparently on the rise, and no one's really sure why.

Zoey, a puppy stolen during a Minnetonka burglary.

Family thanks community after stolen puppy returned home

She was taken during a break-in in Minnetonka last Tuesday.

plymouth police baby

Plymouth parents welcome new baby... in their driveway

The birth was quite the surprise for a couple of local cops on Friday.

After delays, Brick & Bourbon commits to St. Cloud location

This will be the third location for the popular "craft bar & eatery"

Screen Shot 2020-10-11 at 8.47.23 AM

Nearly 30 years later, toy boat launched from Duluth finally washes ashore

It was launched as part of an elementary school class project.

Screen Shot 2020-06-15 at 7.11.05 AM

St. Cloud teen charged with raping girl in high school bathroom

Police say it happened during a basketball game in late 2019.

Screen Shot 2020-06-15 at 7.11.05 AM

1 dead, 1 wounded in separate St. Cloud shootings

Police say the fatal shooting was random, while in a separate incident a series of fights downtown preceded a teen's shooting.