Xmas lights disappearing

UPDATE 3:34 p.m.

The Grinch is alive and well and living in Vernon.

RCMP have received three separate reports of thefts where Christmas light projectors and decorations are being taken from homes throughout the Vernon area. The suspected thief is entering the yards of local homes, unplugging light projectors and making off with the lights in the middle of the night. 

“Video surveillance has been obtained from some of the reported thefts, however the video is of poor quality and hard to make out a suspect,” said Const. Kelly Brett. “There have been no other witness accounts of this Grinch who seems to think it’s ok to steal the Christmas displays, however it is only a matter of time before the suspect is seen or recognized from home surveillance systems.”

RCMP is advising anyone with valuable Christmas light equipment that is easily accessible to a person walking past, to secure the item and bring it inside for the night. 

“Although we have only had the three reported incidents, the Vernon RCMP are aware there may be more incidents un-documented as it appears to be a hot topic on social media sites,” said Brett. “Again we are encouraging residents to secure their valuables and be diligent in watching for anyone that doesn’t belong in their respective neighbourhood.”

Anyone with information regarding the light thefts are asked to contact the Vernon RCMP at 250-545-7171. Or remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, or leaving a tip online at www.nokscrimestoppers.com.

It seems the Okanagan might have a few Christmas light thieves on the loose.

During the month of December many Okanagan residents vented their frustrations on social media, warning communities after their own Christmas lights went missing.  

On Sunday morning a Vernon woman had surveillance video of a person stealing her projector lights and on Monday at least two East Hill residents came home in the evening to find their decorations had vanished.

“I got home from work just before 4 p.m. and the projector light was still outside,” said Jenny Dunsdon, homeowner. “My fiancè got home from work at about 6:30 p.m. and when he walked in the door he was like ‘our decoration got stolen’ and at first I didn’t believe him.”

Many residents are struggling to understand why anyone would want to steal their Christmas lights.

“I can’t believe people are actually stealing Christmas lights,” Dunsdon said. “The projector light was running because we had left it plugged in and there are footprints in the snow from the road, up to our driveway to the light and then back.”

Currently, Vernon RCMP are investigating a few reports made to police about Christmas lights going missing.  

“I have seen the odd file pop up but I have seen way more banter online,” said Const. Kelly Brett. “I have seen more of that online than actual reports made to the police.”

Stealing the lights might be a way for the thieves to save some cash, according to Brett.  

“I think it is because people just don’t want to spend the money on buying them."  

Similar incidents are these popping up all over social media.

 On Dec. 7, a West Kelowna family came home to find their Christmas lights had been stolen.

"When we came home we saw one of our laser lights was ripped off the ground," said the homeowner, Guido Gonschorek.

RCMP says it is doing its best to investigate the issues that are reported.

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