Trick-or-treat troubles: Halloween hooligans stealing expensive decorations from Regina lawns
Police say cameras can help identify unwanted guests
Ghosts, monsters and goblins aren't the only things haunting Regina households this Halloween.
Thieves looking to make off with expensive Halloween decorations also seem to be roaming around several neighbourhoods.
The thieves are not just causing a fright for homeowners — they're also chilling their pocketbooks.
As decorations become more elaborate, it can cost a pretty penny to create the spooky displays.
Viviana Floer recently had a giant skull decoration taken from the front step of her northwest Regina home. She managed to catch the person taking the item on a surveillance camera.
She said she won't be replacing the decoration, which she originally paid about $70 for, because it's too expensive. She's also concerned a new one could get stolen again, which means she'd have to shell out more cash.
"I find that the bigger [the decorations] are, the more [expensive] they are, obviously but ... [they're] also more than they used to be," she said. "Even the blow-ups have gone up quite a bit."
The stolen skull has more than just a monetary value for Floer. She'd had it for around eight years and it had become a part of her family's Halloween traditions.
"Once they were all dressed up, we would get the kids outside and have a picture with this skull," she said. "It was the perfect size for them."
Floer isn't the only resident dealing with unwanted Halloween visitors. Roch Dupont, whose Regina Avenue home is famous in his neighbourhood for its elaborate holiday displays, has had all kinds of decorations stolen, including Halloween-themed items.
The thefts have been so rampant, he's given up on putting anything out this Halloween — or any other time of the year.
A three-metre-tall inflatable black cat Dupont had on his lawn — which cost between $100 and $140 — was among the items taken.
"You can't find it anymore," he said. "It was a very special purchase."
Like Floer, he's seen decoration costs go up.
"Stuff that we might have bought for $100 or $200 ... they're in the range of $300 to $500 now," he said. "It's because it's become such a demand, and more people are decorating."
Cameras can help: police
The Regina Police Service wasn't able to say if thieves have targeted more expensive items in the last few years, or to identify the number of Halloween decoration thefts specifically.
However, a spokesperson for service encourages people whose decorations are stolen to report the theft.
Residents who have larger items are also encouraged to have some sort of surveillance device, such as a camera, to help identify thieves — although it's never guaranteed police will nab the thief, even if they're on tape.
With files from Alex Soloducha and Joelle Seal