Peoria Police hang Christmas lights for residents who became targets of a 'Grinch'

Peoria Police are calling this a case of the Grinch trying to steal Christmas from an elderly couple, but a few officers turned their holiday around.

An elderly Peoria couple hired people to come out and hang their Christmas lights. They said they agreed to a price but halfway through the project, the workers demanded more money and when the couple wouldn’t pay, they cut their Christmas lights.

"I came out, and he was snipping with pliers or whatever, cutting the wires on his lights. I said, ‘What are you doing?’ He said, ‘Well I’m getting these down.’ I said, ‘Well that’s fine, but I bought the other lights. You leave those alone. You’re not going to cut those, are you?’ Well, he started cutting mine," Chris Martinez said.

She and her husband called Peoria Police after they felt like they were being scammed.

"Said that someone attempted to extort them and when they said no, that was their retaliation. They cut the Christmas lights every few feet, so they were inoperable," Officer Michael Kane with Peoria Police said.

Kane responded and felt like he needed to bring back a little bit of Christmas spirit to the Martinez household.

"They were a very nice couple, and decided to go and buy some Christmas lights. I got with the squad on Friday when we have double the amount of officers in and thought it was a good time to help them out," Kane said.

They spent about $125, of their own money, on the lights, and he enlisted some of the other officers to help string them up.

It made a world of difference to those on the receiving end.

"To us, it’s a great opportunity to be able to give back to someone without asking for help. Just us doing it on our own," Officer Davis Hart said.

The officers are calling this "Operation Grinch."

"I was inside, and my husband comes in, and he says, ‘You need to come out here. I said what’s wrong?’ He said, ‘Well, come on out.’ And here were all these police cars parked here, and they were all taking out the ladders and taking lights out of the boxes. It was like, ‘What are you doing?' I saw Officer Kane, and he says, ‘Well we just thought we’d come over and do this for you,’ he said because ‘that was wrong,'" Martinez said.