Stolen Nativity figures recovered just in time for Easter

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The timing seems appropriate on this holy week for Christians all over the world. A nativity scene stolen at Christmas time, has been recovered in time for Easter.

The owner, a life-long Catholic, calls the recovery of his property "overwhelming."

"Sure, I believe in miracles," said Jason Bledsoe.

The 37-year-old stopped short though of saying he witnessed one Sunday after a neighbor came to his Irvington home.

"Gentleman came and knocked on the door and said that he thought he had found something of mine and walked me down there and, sure enough, there it was," said Bledsoe.

By "it," Bledsoe really could have said "they."

"All three of the wise men, Mary, the baby Jesus and his bed," said Bledsoe, describing the life-size figures from his nativity scene that a neighbor found inside the garage of a home that's been empty in the neighborhood on South Audubon Drive for two years.

"The missing pieces, they're right there the whole time," said Bledsoe.

The nativity scene figures showed up missing from Bledsoe's front yard at Christmas.

"It's certainly a Grinch move," Bledsoe told Eyewitness News last December about the stolen figures.

"I did not hold out much hope for that we would see it again."

Then on Palm Sunday, a day Christians commemorate Jesus' entry into Jerusalem, Bledsoe's baby Jesus came home.

"My sons came down and we loaded 'em in the back of a pick-up truck," said Bledsoe, who said first they called police who came, took a report and then cleared Bledsoe to retrieve his figures.

"Is it irony?" asked Bledsoe. "I don't know. It's a blessing to be able to have it in general a blessing to have it back after losing it. The fact that it came back when it did is the reason, it's noteworthy."

Just as noteworthy, Bledsoe said, he's determined to put up his Nativity this Christmas.

"They're meant to be displayed and shared with the people who appreciate their meaning and that's what we'll do," he said.

Bledsoe said if those responsible for taking baby Jesus and the other figures find themselves in the neighborhood again, he hopes they'll have a different plan this time around.

"I hope they come past and find meaning in it and they're at a different place in their life next year," said Bledsoe.

That's because Bledsoe said he's got no plans to put Jesus in a different place, no matter who's around.