Spanish police arrest two for ‘kidnapping’ Baby Jesus figurine

MADRID (Reuters) – Police in southeast Spain have arrested two men charged with stealing a Baby Jesus figurine from their local nativity scene and demanding a ransom on TikTok for its return, authorities said on Monday.

The two, aged 19 and 21, posted a video on the social media platform calling themselves “the kidnappers” and demanding a 2,000 euro ransom from police in Sant Vicent del Raspeig, a suburb of Alicante, whom they accused of “not taking good care of Baby Jesus”.

The video also showed a man with a pixelated face appearing to lift the figurine off the ground and putting it in the boot of a car.

City hall said in a statement the two had acknowledged their involvement in the theft at the police station.

After their video went viral, the statuette reappeared on Sunday evening next to a waste container on a street near the manger display, according to the city’s mayor, Pachi Pascual.

It was returned to its crib on Monday morning.

The Spanish government’s representative in Alicante, Carlos Sanchez, said the event was “very unfortunate because it isn’t funny at all”.

($1 = 0.9163 euros)

(Reporting by David Latona; Editing by Aislinn Laing)