Local Grinches make off with holiday ornaments | CraigDailyPress.com

Local Grinches make off with holiday ornaments

Paul Shockley

A wooden cowboy statue, wooden wagon and a host of other holiday-theme decorations sitting on Craig lawns have been the target of thieves in recent days.

‘Tis the season, according to Craig police.

“We pretty much have the same problem each year,” said John Forgay, lieutenant with the Craig Police Department. “Basically it’s hit and grab, and they either keep it or destroy it, but it’s irritating to owners.”

At least three individual thefts from decorated lawns in the 200 block of Field Street, the 400 block of W. Eighth Street, and the 800 block of East 10th Street have been brought to Craig police’s attention over the last six days.

Without witnesses, authorities say there is little to be done.

“They’re more likely to end up in Fortification Creek than re-sold,” said Forgay, adding that officers otherwise might find stolen decorations while working an unrelated call.

Patrol officers, who are updated about the missing items, have found them hanging on walls in thieves’ homes, Forgay said.

“More often than not, they’re pranks by kids, but it’s theft when not returned,” he said. “On some blocks, every house has decorations.”

Police said Halloween is another occasion that sees an increase in thefts.

This summer, Craig was hit by a spree of disappearing gnomes; roughly a dozen of the foot-high clay figurines were eventually recovered and returned to residents. Craig police through the years have found Ronald McDonald stranded on various properties in the city, while one recent winter saw the removal of an over-sized, waving Santa Clause, which an unknown holiday Grinch placed in front of a local Jehovah’s Witness church, according to Craig police.

Neighborhood awareness is among the few defenses.

“Get to know your neighbors,” said Bill Leonard, Craig police administrative sergeant.

Security measures such as motion lights don’t work with many of today’s moving lawn decorations.

“(Security measures) can be a lot more expensive than it is to lose the ornaments,” Forgay said.

Paul Shockley can be reached at 824-7031 to at pshockley@craigdailypress.com.

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