For the past several years, Mary Johnson and her family on Cook Avenue in Maple Ridge have enjoyed the arrival of Christmas because it meant decorating of their front yard and brightening their part of what is a dark section of the street.
Thanks to dozens of lights and five inflatable, automated Christmas figures, their yard became a wonderland – until Sunday night.
That’s when a thief, or thieves, crept into the yard, ripped out the extension cords and pretty lights, then tiptoed around and sneakily deflated five figurines, all of them showing Santa with a helicopter, a motorcycle, train and Rudolph the red nosed reindeer.
Johnson’s daughter Julie Stillie can live with the loss, even though the inflatables cost more than $1,000.
“If it was just me, I wouldn’t have a problem with it.” It’s just stuff, she adds.
But it’s heartbreaking for her son. Chase, 7, who loved to see the decorations in the front yard as the big day grows closer.
“I won’t be able to replace it anytime soon,” Julie said.
The family put up the display on the otherwise dark part of Cook Avenue, where there’s no street light, two weeks ago, so Chase had lots of time to enjoy the display.
Julie also enjoyed watching the looks on passers by who appreciated it.
But now the front yard is dark and empty, with only a wire-framed moose and two reindeer figurines standing watch over the barren lawn.
Instead of the presents under the tree, the mean ones yanked out the lights and possibly took the wires as well.
“The took all the extension cords. They took everything,” said Johnson, pointing out the cords were taped and stapled down.
“He was in tears this morning, she was in tears this morning. My son-in-law was as mad as a March hare,” Johnson said Monday.
Chase said his dad searched the neighbourhood for them, to no avail.
“It’s sad for the kid, right?
“You can’t replace all that. That’s a lot of money,” Johnson said.
She’s been putting up the display for nine years and never had anything stolen before.
“People are so ignorant to spoil a little guy’s fun.
“It’s getting pretty bad in Maple Ridge, I tell you.”