PHOENIX - It’s that time of year again – time to put up the Christmas decorations and spread the holiday cheer – but it looks like the Grinch is out too.
A homeowner in south Phoenix says his lights and decorations were destroyed and it was all caught on camera.
John Decker says for the last eight years he’s put up Christmas decorations and grows his festive display each year. But now he’s on edge after some kids stopped by to destroy them.
"One night I came out and it was gone and I was like, where did it go?" Decker said. It appears those responsible are children.
"I looked at the camera and noticed that a kid had just came up and took scissors and just cut them and cut the nose off of the inflatable," Decker said.
For the past two days, he says someone has been stopping by his South Mountain home and will destroy something new each time. First, they cut his Christmas lights, then stole a light projector, and then cut the nose off an inflatable polar bear.
"It makes me sad, you know, to see. Why he would do something like that? I'd rather see somebody take it. Maybe they'll take it and use it maybe make a kid happy or something but just to destroy him, just don't understand the reasoning behind it," Decker said.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time this has happened. Last year, someone stole his snowman.
"A car had pulled up right here on this side of the house. Next thing you know, the snowman is moving around and just takes off, so they had taken it," Decker said.
Phoenix Police Sgt. Ann Justus says there are ways to protect your decorations.
"Leave your decorations out maybe until a certain time maybe when you go to bed around 10 p.m. or something if you can bring the inflatables in. You know for kids out there that think this is a harmless prank, you're looking at some serious charges. A lot of these are felonies," Justus warned.
For now, Decker says it’s not about the dollar value of what was taken, but the fact someone decided to do it in the first place and ruin the holiday spirit.
"I don't want to see the kid like, get in trouble. Hopefully that the parents can see it and maybe have a talk with them. It's disturbing to see a kid would be doing something like that on the way to school," Decker said.
He's filed a police report and says he'll repair and replace his decorations. He’ll also be watching his cameras a little closer now.
- Turkeys not Tickets: Mesa PD surprises drivers with holiday cheer
- Salvation Army red kettle bells return for 2021 holiday season
- ‘A little too extreme’: Family could face fines for putting Christmas lights up before Thanksgiving