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Martinsville Bulletin, Inc.
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Martinsville, Virginia 24115
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Holiday decoration theft hard to stop

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

By MICKEY POWELL - Bulletin Staff Writer

Christmas is more than a month away, but Misty Forbes already has realized that not everyone is full of good will this holiday season.

Forbes, who said she has been living in her Collinsville home for three years, had not been a victim of theft until Sunday when someone stole a Christmas decoration from her front porch.

At a craft fair at Bassett High School on Saturday, she spent $60 on a large decoration consisting of a snowman and Christmas tree in a basket with gifts that light up. She placed it by her front door after she got home.

“It was so adorable,” she said.

Soon, it was gone.

Forbes said she left her home about 6 p.m. Sunday and when she returned three hours later, the decoration had been stolen.

“I was so upset that someone would steal something of this nature,” said Forbes. “Is this really what this (holiday) season is about?”

“I think it’s a shame that people can’t even decorate for the holiday season without their decorations getting stolen,” she said.

She made her comments in an email to the Martinsville Bulletin on Tuesday.

Officials with the Henry County Sheriff’s Office and the Martinsville Police Department on Tuesday did not immediately know of any reports of stolen Christmas decorations that their agencies might have received.

“It’s pretty bad” when people stoop so low as to steal holiday decorations from a porch, said Lt. Col. Steve Eanes of the county sheriff’s office.

Martinsville Police Chief Mike Rogers indicated he is not surprised, though, because people have been brazen enough to steal from churches and even graves in cemeteries.

There is “really no way” to prevent decorations from being stolen, Rogers said, because they cannot be padlocked, for instance, when on display.

“If it’s valuable and can be removed” easily, he said, “bring it in at night” or when nobody is at home.

According to Rogers and Eanes, people should ask their neighbors to keep an eye on their outdoor decorations when they are not at home and to call police if anything suspicious is observed.

“Just be alert” and try to secure decorations as much as possible, Eanes added.

But in Forbes’ case, the story had a happy ending. When she got home Monday night, there was the decoration, returned to her home. She speculated that kids might have taken it and their parents made them return it.

Whatever the reason, she is just glad to have the snowman and Christmas tree back.


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