Decoration thefts dampen holiday spirits



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Posted on December 20, 2013 at 7:24 PM

Updated Friday, Dec 20 at 9:10 PM


AUSTIN -- A few days ago, Kristen Shear and her five-year-old daughter, Lillian, made and hung a wreath on the front door of their Central Austin apartment as part of a mother-daughter project.
"It was a grapevine wreath with some poinsettia flowers that Lillian had helped pick out and place, and we tied them in there with some floral ties and glitter," Shear said. "Lillian loves glitter."
The next morning, it was gone. Shear said she thinks it was stolen.
"I was really angry, because it just seemed so silly and pointless," Shear said.
Police frequently warn shoppers to hide their packages to prevent theft. Yet, the holidays can also bring the theft of Christmas decorations, which police warn is still a crime.
"Maybe they can't afford their own, or are trying to get their own joy," said Austin police Cpl. David Boyd. "But when they are stealing from somebody else, they are stealing somebody else's Christmas joy."
Austin police said they have not necessarily seen an increase in decoration thefts this year, although they added that many victims may not report the crime.
"You can always install surveillance systems into your house, so you have cameras out front, so even if it does get stolen, we will at least have some video we can work with and hopefully find that person," Boyd said.
Meanwhile, the Shears have vowed not to let the Grinch steal their Christmas.
"I think we're going to go ice skating, maybe this weekend, and last weekend, we went to the Trail of Lights, which we enjoyed, this being our first Christmas in Austin," Shear said.