LAFAYETTE, L.a. — A Lafayette homeowner is trying to find the Grinch who stole a Christmas decoration from his front lawn — and it shouldn't be too hard to miss.
Jay Slemmer told KATC a 20-foot toy soldier inflatable costing nearly $200 was taken from his yard overnight.
"You know, really it goes really against all of what Christmas stands for," Slemmer said. "We've had a couple of hard years with COVID and everything, and so decorating makes people feel better, for people to look at so, why stoop to that and steal?"
Slemmer said he got the giant toy soldier to balance out his matching 20-foot Santa Claus which the same thieves also tried to steal. He noted this isn't the first time this has happened — thieves took some of his Halloween decorations back in October.
With a security system already in place, he said he doesn't know what else to do. Those with local law enforcement told KATC that unfortunately, this comes with the territory of having nice decorations in open spaces.
KATC reached out to those at Acadiana Security Plus for tips on what you can do to save your Christmas cheer from being stolen. They suggested methods like using sandbags inside your inflatables and using heavy-duty screws to secure decorations — even placing spikes in your yard where applicable without harming your decor.
"Prepare all around, be secure," Kenny Klusman, managing partner at Acadiana Security Plus said. "Make it tough, they don't want to be seen, make sure your lights work, and hopefully that deters them."
Lafayette PD noted that they have only had one official report of this kind of theft at this time — at another home. Officers said that if you see something, you have to say something, otherwise they won't know when, where, or how to help you.
As for Slemmer, he said he's not the only one dealing with this. Other neighbors are noticing missing decorations too and he's noticed an increase in complaints of this kind from across Acadiana on social media.
All things considered, he said that no Grinch can harshen his Christmas spirit. His hope is that their heart at least grew three times bigger by enjoying what they took.
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