It’s the moment no one who’s spent anytime decorating their home for the holidays wants to experience: a disappearing Santa Claus, a runaway fire truck, lovable Disney characters absent from their displays.
According to WGN News, this is what multiple families are experiencing in Humboldt Park as a thief has made off with decorations from different residents. But one family has the suspect caught on video. The thief hit the 2400 block of West Haddon Avenue at around 3:30 AM Tuesday morning.
Despite the video evidence, until the decorations are returned, it doesn’t make a difference to the children. “The kids were so excited to have this stuff out and now we can’t even put anything out anymore because we’ll be afraid that somebody’s going to take it,” one of the victims said. No one is in custody and police are investigating.
Earlier this month, a suburban Grinch stole decorations from four homes in Downers Grove. In Highland, decorations including laser lights were stolen from Sam Widdall who was known for making elaborate light displays over the past three years. This was going to be his last hurrah before he and his family move to Texas. A couple years ago, NBC reported that laser lights were one of the most popular targets of decoration thieves.
Sadly, its an issue that can hit anyone in any community. A couple years ago, James Sehon, an army veteran living in Ohio, was the victim of stolen Christmas decorations, a display he showcased to his neighborhood for over 25 years since his wife passed away.
Fortunately for Sehon, the community stepped in when they heard about the news. A nearby Boy Scouts troop donated decorations and a local Home Depot offered him anything from his store that he wanted.
As many look to ordering online, package theft is another issue to worry about. A research study from last year estimated “23 million Americans have had packages stolen from their porches.” Some tips on how to avoid package theft include:
- Take advantage of delivery alert apps on your phone (We have a list available here!).
- When possible, have your packages delivered to your office or a friend or neighbor’s house who will be home during the day.
- If a retailer allows it, select a specific time for delivery when you will be home.
- Install a video surveillance system like Ring so you can answer the door remotely.