Christmas crime: Prince George Grinches stealing decorations from front yards
'A bit of our Christmas spirit is being stolen from us,' says resident whose projector was stolen
Some residents of Prince George, B.C., say at least one Grinch is on the loose in the city, with holiday lights, decorative reindeer and giant snowmen going missing before Christmas.
"A bit of our Christmas spirit is being stolen from us," said Alex Deevy, just one of many residents who have suffered a holiday heist in the past few weeks.
A projector that shimmered with snowflakes, stars and northern lights was stolen from Deevy's front yard on Dec. 8, leaving him confused and angry.
"I don't see how there's any black market money to be made from inflatables and projectors and string lights and the kind of things that have been going missing," he said.
"I call it the Grinch factor, that someone's stealing Christmas decorations. It's just so wicked."
Inflatable snowman disappears
Stephanie Prudente's family has put up an outdoor holiday display for more than a decade.
Their front yard Christmas decorations brighten the neighbourhood and delight children at a school across the road.
But then their two-metre-high inflatable snowman with a candy-cane scarf was stolen Nov. 30.
"It was really shocking," said Prudente, who discovered the snowman was gone.
"My mom was so upset because the snowman was her favourite," she said.
"It makes you feel a bit violated because someone was in your yard. All of the stakes were gone, too, so they spent some time [stealing it]," said Prudente.
Prudente has now pulled down every decoration she can't secure.
All that remains is a large blue dinosaur with a Christmas tree in its mouth — because the inflated figure is frozen to the ground in her front yard.
Crime hits Christmas gifts
Some Canadian cities are tracking Yuletide thefts. But Prince George RCMP say they don't have any specific numbers on the disappearance of decorations.
"Theft is theft. Other than vehicles and bikes, we don't track specific items," said RCMP Cpl. Craig Douglass.
However, Prince George RCMP recently revealed a pioneering bait package program to catch porch pirates who snatch gift deliveries dropped at front doors.
Police say it's a first for Canada and a sign police are taking theft seriously.