The statue was recovered following an anonymous call on Dec. 5 from someone who said the statue was in the basement of the burned-out red schoolhouse on Kansas Street. It was found graffiti covered and damaged beyond repair.
According to Det. Morris pate of the ESPD, Bell, who was charged on Friday, Dec. 19 with theft of property, was homeless and unemployed "just hanging out" in town.
The alleged suspect denied vandalizing the statue, saying he stole it "to fit in."
The the Beta Sigma Phi sorority chapter which has sponsored the nativity scene in Basin Spring Park since 1950 valued the statue at $375.