CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Halloween decorations are something just about anyone can enjoy.
“We do it for friends, family, and community, and you know, it’s just part of being a good neighbor, and I love seeing the kids enjoy it,” said homeowner Keith Smith.
But as area homeowners have seen, some people are taking advantage of their holiday spirit. Around $100 worth of these decorations were taken from Smith’s front lawn. Smith says he thought about putting them back up but didn’t want to be targeted again.
“I just think it’s an egregious disrespect for personal property,” said Smith. “I thought, if they’re coming back, I don’t want to be involved in anyone coming back.”
Another homeowner took a different approach. They were the target once, and that was enough. The second time the thieves came back, they had a greeting waiting for them. They created a sign that read,”HEY YOU! – WE DECORATE FOR THE KIDS TO HAVE A FUN HALLOWEEN. PLEASE DON’T RUIN IT BY TAKING OUR STUFF.”
Security camera footage helped police track down the suspects. Lyndsay Jordan wishes she had footage of whoever took her decorations twice.
“Halloween is our thing. It’s our happy time, and somebody’s trying to squash our happy time,” said Jones. “It’s beyond a childhood prank at this point. You’re just harassing people at this point.”
Jones says she plans to start using security cameras. She just wishes the people who are doing this realize the impact of what they’re doing.
Police say they see an increase in property theft around this time of year until the end of the holiday season. They recommend people bring their decorations inside overnight, but they say they know that can be a hassle. They also say this is a case where “See something, say something” really comes into play.