Decorations are targeted by grinches

December 10, 1997

Decorations are targeted by grinches


Staff Writer

Joyce Perry labored over her Christmas wreath from about 4 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. last week.

The Williamsport resident affixed the wreath to the wall of Byers Self Service Market on Conococheague Street as part of an annual contest. But the next day, she learned the wreath was gone.

"It's too bad someone had to steal my decoration the night before judging," Perry said. "'Tis the season for the Grinch that Stole Christmas."


Perry said she quickly made a replacement wreath. But this time, she took no chances.

"The second one, I nailed to the wall. They're not going to get that one, I hope," she said.

Perry is not alone. The Washington County sheriff's deputy who took her crime report said four other town residents have reported their Christmas-related thefts.

The reports follow two similar thefts that occurred earlier this month in Smithsburg. According to deputies, two 10-inch wreaths were taken from a garage on Sherris Way and an 18-inch wreath was taken from the front door.

In another instance, a papier-mache Santa Claus and a mailbox Christmas ornament were swiped from a home on the same street.

First Sgt. Doug Mullendore said he does not know the exact number of Christmas-related thefts this year because statistics are not broken down in that manner. But he said such crimes tend to increase during the holiday season.

"Every year. Halloween and Christmas, both," he said. "It occurs all throughout the county."

Mullendore said youths are the likely culprits.

"This is normal, unfortunately. People just don't respect other people's property the way they once did," he said.

Mullendore said homeowners should try to keep holiday decorations as far away from sidewalks as possible and keep an eye out for pranksters. But because most decorations are easily cut or can be pulled away with little effort, he said, they are vulnerable.

"There really isn't much you can do," he said.

The Herald-Mail Articles