British Columbia

'Grinch' steals Christmas lights in Vernon, B.C.

RCMP in Vernon, B.C., are warning residents to secure their expensive Christmas decorations after at least three reports of lights being stolen from local yards.

RCMP warn residents to secure valuable decorations or take them inside at night

Vernon resident Jenny Dunsdon wrote on Facebook that her projecting lights were stolen in the city's East Hill neighbourhood this week. (Jenny Dunsdon/ Facebook)

RCMP in the North Okanagan city of  Vernon, B.C., are warning residents to carefully secure their Christmas lights after at least three reports of decorations being stolen from local homes.

"A Grinch appears to be in town ... stealing the Christmas cheer from all around," said Cst. Kelly Brett in a news release.

He said the suspected thief is entering the yards of Vernon homes, unplugging light projectors and making off with the lights in the middle of the night.

Police have a surveillance video, but it's of poor quality and they can't identify the suspect, he said.

"There have been no other witness accounts of this Grinch who seems to think it's OK to steal the Christmas displays, however it is only a matter of time before the suspect is seen or recognized."

Residents share theft stories on social media

Police say while only three incidents have been reported, there may be more un-documented "as it appears to be a hot topic on social media sites."

Resident Jenny Dunsdon wrote on a local Facebook group that her lights were stolen in the East Hill neighbourhood.

"This makes me so sick that people are doing this. Stealing Christmas decorations? Really?" she wrote.

Police are now urging residents to secure any valuable Christmas light equipment that is easily accessible or bring it inside for the night.

Anyone who witnesses suspicious activity is also asked to contact the Vernon RCMP.


Jaimie Kehler is a web writer, producer and broadcaster based in Kelowna, B.C. She has also worked for CBC News in Toronto and Ottawa. To contact her with a story, email