RICHMOND, Texas – Elaborate Christmas holiday lights displays are a big deal in the Pecan Grove neighborhood in Fort Bend County.
“It’s a lot of hard work. You have a sense of relief when you’re done, pride too. We literally said last night, ‘Oh we’ve got a car already. They’re already stopping,’” Natalie Sullivan said.
Thieves strike overnight
The Sullivan’s decided to tackle their Christmas lights early this year. After three long days, they were just about finished setting up their display, but on Monday morning, Natalie discovered something wasn’t quite right.
Those feelings of joy and pride were quickly replaced by anger, frustration and sadness after someone stole one of her animated LED Christmas trees that was made out of wire, three sets of rope lights and all of her custom power chords.
“It’s a sinking feeling. It’s just a punch in the gut,” Sullivan said.
The display was also vandalized in the process.
“I guess the Grinch really does exist,” Sullivan said.
Neighborhood comes together
Sullivan said she found one of the animation controllers, smashed to pieces in the street.
“The money is the last thing on my list of what has stolen it’s really the experience that everybody has,” Sullivan said.
Neighbors are so upset, a few of them plan to patrol the streets in golf carts in the evenings to keep an eye on things.
“People put so much hard work into their homes. They put so much money into this, so much effort. We do it for the goodness of the community,” Amber Adams said.
Members of that community said they are determined not to let this crime ruin a holiday tradition.
“Don’t do it again. If you need joy in your life there are a lot of other ways to get it. Stealing isn’t the answer,” Sullivan said.