Christmas decorations stolen

Thursday, December 6th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Earl McNatt of Broken Arrow had never decorated his yard with Christmas figures before. But this year he promised his kids he'd pull out all the stops. The family only got to enjoy it for a week.

News on Six reporter Steve Berg talks about a mean-spirited thief. You'd never know it by looking at it now, but Earl McNatt's yard here was filled with elaborate decorations. That is, until a real-life grinch came in and cleaned him out. For the past couple of years, Earl McNatt scrimped and saved, buying one decoration at a time. And now, all he and kids have to show for it are empty boxes. "Yeah Sunday morning, my son come in and got me and he asked me if I had been outside yet, and I said, "no", and he said, "well everything is gone," and I said "what do you mean? And he said all the stuff is gone.” Almost $400 worth of stuff. A three-dimensional motorized Santa Claus and reindeer, an elaborate sleigh and a walkway filled with lights and candy-canes, all gone. It was an eye-catching display, and it caught the attention of a thief last Saturday night.

Broken Arrow Police say it's obviously a tough crime to prevent, but they say it is sometimes easier to spot thieves during the winter. Broken Arrow Police Sgt. Brandon Gilstrap, "This time of year if it gets this cold, not too many people are out on late-night walks, and enjoying the weather at this time of year, so if you see anyone out walking, go ahead and call police." But even though he lost several hundred dollars, Earl's says it's the sentimental value that really hurts. And the disappointment of his kids. He says he hasn't even told his youngest one yet. "It's a very mean-spirited crime and I don't know who did it, but I hope the individuals that did it, well what can I say, maybe they're conscience will come to 'em."

Police say it's not really practical to bring your decorations inside each and every night. They say really all you can do is try to keep an eye out for one another.