12/23 UPDATE: The baby Jesus and Mary figure is back.
'We left at 6 p.m. last night to go to a Christmas party. When we returned from the party around 10:30 p.m., they were there! We couldn't believe it. We are so excited to have them back! I'm so thankful that someone returned them,' Jackie Lovell told WVEC.com.
She also said a $20 bill was left at the scene.
'They returned them as quietly as they took them. We are very thankful.'
VIRGINIA BEACH-A nativity scene turned into a crime scene after someone stole the baby Jesus and Mary figure from a family's nativity scene.
Scott Lovell discovered it was missing from their yard on Lower Greens Place after returning home from his daughter's dance lesson on Wednesday.
'I came in and told my wife and she was just mortified,' said Scott Lovell.
For this devout Catholic family, Christmas is the most important time of the year. They've proudly displayed their faith on their front lawn for nearly a decade.
'The kids enjoy putting baby Jesus in the manger and it's a big significance for Christmas,' said Jackie Lovell.
They've filed a police report, but they're hoping the Christmas spirit will make the thieves return the figure. Scott has put a sign in the nativity asking for his return,
'Please. We're not looking to punish anybody or get anybody in trouble. If you do have our nativity scene, just return them as quietly as you took them,' Scott said.
The Lovells, who captain their neighborhood watch group, sent an email out to residents keep an eye out for suspicious activity.
Because they don't know if the figure will be returned, they're looking to buy replacements.