'Grinch' strikes Valley homes


by azfamily.com

Video reported by Karen Brown

Posted on December 12, 2013 at 4:10 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 12 at 4:53 PM

MESA, Ariz. -- The Grinch has struck the Valley.

People from all over the Phoenix area told 3TV they have had Christmas decorations stolen from their properties this holiday season.

James Koestner, of Mesa, is missing five animal-themed Christmas decorations, which are worth more than $200 total.

Koestner's festive display has been targeted before, leading him to display his inflatable decorations on the roof of his home.

"It's very disheartening," he said. "This is something that I put a lot of effort into every year. It's something I like to do for the neighborhood and for friends and family to just kind of bring a little Christmas spirit."

A 9-year-old Avondale boy does not understand why someone swiped all of his family's outdoor decorations, leaving only the wreath behind.

"When we got home, me and my mom saw the decorations were down and we were sad, and I don't know why they would take the decorations at all," Quentin Fifer said.

Among the items stolen were two inflatable Disney characters.

Quentin's mother, Contessa Fifer, said although she and her son are saddened by the loss, she is not going to let it ruin their holiday.

"It looks like Santa's workshop in our house," she said. "We can still celebrate on the inside, just not the outside."

Koestner agreed, saying Christmas is about more than decorations.

"These are ultimately just things," he said. "That's not really what Christmas is about. To me, it's more about celebrating the season. This was my way of doing it, but it certainly is not going to bring my spirit down."

Many people do not report the looting to police, saying they do not want to bother officers with something minor.

But police encourage victims to report the incidents so they can track the thieves down.

Police said many stolen decorations are sold on Craigslist.