Prankster Who Stole Bethlehem Baby Jesus to Pay Fine

Judge calls Nativity scene theft 'a misguided practical joke that went terribly wrong'

A woman who faced a felony charge in the theft of a baby Jesus from a Nativity scene in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania a few weeks before Christmas was fined after pleading guilty to a summary count.

The (Allentown) Morning Call reports that 49-year-old Jacqueline Ross of Bethlehem Township was ordered Tuesday by a judge in Northampton County to pay $100 and court costs.

Authorities said she took the $2,700 figurine Dec. 4 from the crèche outside City Hall and left it at a hospital with a note saying the baby had been "neglected" by his parents, "Joseph and Mary Christ."

District Judge Roy Manwaring called it "a misguided practical joke that went terribly wrong." Prosecutors cited mental health issues and said she didn't deserve jail time or a criminal record. [[238427591, C]]

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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