Holiday Lawn Decorations Are Disappearing Around East Texas - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/8/05-Tyler

Holiday Lawn Decorations Are Disappearing Around East Texas

This time of year, front lawns are filled with large snowmen, Santa Claus and his reindeer. For one East Texas family, it's their nativity set they take the most pride in, but this year someone tried to take it away from them.

The Linder family bought their nativity scene seven years ago. It cost about $500.00, but when they woke up Wednesday morning and found two camels, a donkey and a wise man missing, it wasn't the money they thought about.

"Christmas is all about the birth of Christ to us," said Lucinda Linder. "We walked out and our symbol was gone."

"The police say they believe it's random, but it's happened to us two times in the last two weeks and then last year it happened, so it may be random, but you know it feels like our nativity scene is being singled out." said Terry Linder. The Linders were fortunate.

"The next day my husband went to a convenience store and spoke to a policeman and told them the situation, and the policeman told him they were down at the station," said Lucinda. Tyler police have recovered several other holiday decorations as well. They say this time of year they have reports of stolen decorations about every other day.

"Most of the time it's kids that are taking it, and they are actually not doing anything with it," said Officer Don Martin, Tyler Police Department. "They're stealing it for the fun of it and then they're abandoning the property. That's where this stuff came from." Police say you may be able to prevent your decorations from being stolen by putting them close to your house. You can also write your name and phone number on the decorations, so if they are recovered police can get them back to you.

"We're putting up flood lights and we're going to mark the nativity pieces," said Lucinda. "We're just hoping these kids can realize they can get in a lot of trouble and to use their energy and time for something positive." No matter what happens, the Linders say no Grinch can steal their Christmas.

Police say anything stolen that is over $50.00, could mean jail time.

Molly Reuter, reporting. mreuter@kltv.com

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