UPDATE: Detective, Wife Repair Stolen Baby Jesus

By: Brooks Jarosz; Andrew Colegrove Email
By: Brooks Jarosz; Andrew Colegrove Email

UPDATE 12/13/12 @ 6 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- When a stolen baby Jesus statue was found, the suspect had drawn and written some pretty bad things on him.

"It had horns drawn on it and a hole in its chest," Detective Chris Sperry with the Huntington Police Department said.

It also had been marked with profanity and a drawing of male genitalia after being taken from a nativity scene in Huntington the first night it was set up.

Sperry didn't want the baby to return to the manger looking like that. He took the Jesus to a pottery business to see if they could help get it cleaned up. They said unfortunately they couldn't.

The detective says fortunately he has a bit of a background in craftsmanship.

"My dad could do just about anything,” Sperry said. “I'd be out in the garage with him when we were growing up. He'd do woodwork and crafts."

Over the weekend Sperry and his wife Justine dedicated time to fixing up the statue.

“I got some fingernail polish remover, and we scrubbed and scrubbed and got it all cleared up," Justine said.

All that scrubbing also removed the statue's original coat of paint as well, so they re-painted and sealed him.

Then in true Christmas fashion, Detective Sperry returned Jesus Sunday night to the nativity scene on the porch of the McDonald’s business office on 5th Avenue and 11th Street for the workers to find in the morning.

"Chris is an amazing individual,” Jare Gilpin, Director of Operations at McDonald’s, said. “He's a credit to the police department."

"The reason for Christmas is the birth of Jesus Christ,” Justine said, “and that me and my husband could put its face and everything back on it and put it back in the manger, it brought joy into my heart."

Sperry says solving a case is always rewarding, but doing this type of a good deed at the Christmas season is pretty special.

"Now every time I go down 5th Avenue I can look up, my kids can look up, and they can say ‘My dad fixed that,’” Sperry said. “That gives you a good feeling."

The suspect in the theft, Kamron Lambert, faces two years in prison if convicted.



UPDATE 12/7/12 @ 1 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The man wanted in connection with a stolen baby Jesus statue turned himself in Friday morning.

Kamron Lambert was at the Cabell County Courthouse Friday morning at 9 a.m. to face the charges of stealing a baby Jesus from a Huntington nativity scene.

Lambert is charged with petit larceny and destruction of property, both misdemeanors. He was arraigned on the charges immediately.

If found guilty, Lambert could face up to two years in jail and up to $3,000 in fines.

The missing statue was found in an apartment in Huntington and returned Thursday. Det. Chris Sperry with the Huntington Police Department told WSAZ.com that the statue had been badly defaced with a drawing of male genitalia, an obscenity, the phrase "I hate you God," an upside down cross and horns.

Wednesday, the McDonald's business office was offering a $500 reward for the return of the baby Jesus.

Lambert is expected back in court in January for a preliminary hearing.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 12/6/12 @ 3:30 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A statue of baby Jesus that was stolen from a Huntington nativity has been returned.

Detective Chris Sperry says the baby Jesus statue was found at an apartment on 4th Avenue in Huntington.

Sperry says the statue had been badly defaced with a drawing of male genitalia, an obscenity, the phrase "I hate you God," an upside down cross and horns.

Huntington Police tell WSAZ.com they plan to arrest and charge Kamron Lambert with the theft of the baby Jesus statue.

Wednesday, the McDonald's business office was offering a $500 reward for the return of the baby Jesus.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 12/5/12 @ 10 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A suspect has been named in the theft of a baby Jesus from a nativity scene in Huntington.

Huntington Police tell WSAZ.com they plan to arrest and charge Kamron Lambert with the theft. He is expected to return the statue to police Thursday morning.

The baby Jesus was taken early morning from the 1100-block of 5th Avenue. Security cameras captured images of what appeared to be a man in his 20s.

Huntington Police Detective Chris Sperry told WSAZ.com earlier Wednesday that the McDonald's business office was offering a $500 reward for the return of the baby Jesus.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 12/5/12 @ 10:10 a.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A reward is now being offered for the return of a baby Jesus statue that was stolen from a nativity in Huntington.

Det. Chris Sperry with the Huntington Police Department tells WSAZ.com that the McDonald's business office is offering a $500 reward for the return of baby Jesus.

The theft happened Friday morning in the 1100-block of 5th Avenue in Huntington. Security cameras caught a man who appeared to be about 20-years-old stealing the baby Jesus about 12:50 a.m.

There is now a temporary baby Jesus in the manger, but the owners want the original back -- and are willing to pay up for the statue.

If you have any information, call the Huntington Police Department.



UPDATE 12/3/12 @ 5 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A real life Grinch stole a baby Jesus statue from a nativity scene just hours after it was set up.

It was a brand new hand-painted nativity set that cost hundreds of dollars.

The key figure from that scene is now absent.

Now folks at McDonald's are asking for help looking for Jesus.

Security cameras showed a man who appeared to be about 20 years old stealing the baby Jesus about 12:50 a.m. Friday.

It happened at the McDonald's business office at 5th Avenue and 11th Street.

“It just amazes us that someone would come up to the porch of an establishment and steal baby Jesus in this season,” Becki Carpenter, local marketing manager for McDonald’s, said. “It's just ridiculous."

"It's celebrating the birth of Jesus, and somebody commits a crime. It’s kind of defeating the purpose of what the season is all about," Detective Chris Sperry with the Huntington Police Department said.

In the meantime, a baby doll is filling in as the savior.

"We do have a replacement, but we would like to find the original one because it does go with the set," Carpenter said.



ORIGINAL STORY 12/2/12
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Police are searching for a man who stole a baby Jesus statue from a nativity scene.

The theft happened Thursday night in the 1100-block of 5th Avenue in Huntington, according to officers.

Police tell WSAZ.com the thief knew he was caught on camera but swiped the statue anyway. They say the thief looked like a college-aged man.

There is now a temporary baby Jesus in the manger, but the owners want the original back.

If you have any information, call Huntington Police.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.


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