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A rash of Christmas vandals, determined to take the fun out of kitsch, are attacking inflatable Santa Clauses and other outdoor holiday displays around the country. But yes Virginia, it is a crime.
Police do prosecute vandals of all kinds, and those who attack outdoor holiday displays are in no way exempt from being charged with a crime. In fact, some citizens are so offended by the abuses that they have set up their own surveillance to help cops catch these culprits.
Let's look at two recent cases.
Florida Nutcracker Woes
Andrew Craven of Venice, Florida almost gave up his holiday displays, so frustrated was he with the vandalism, according to local NBC News. Craven's Christmas spirit was waning and he was at the point where he was not even turning on his holiday lights. Vandals were attacking his outdoor display every night!
Craven could not take it anymore and set up his own surveillance system. He put a video camera in his yard to try to catch whoever was knocking down and damaging his decorations. And he was successful.
Now Craven has video of a man running up to the inflatable nutcracker and kicking it. "It's just sad and it hurts me to know that people are doing this," Craven said. He turned over his evidence to police, who are investigating the incident and say they will prosecute if the suspect is found.
New Jersey Santa Attack
Police in Cedar Grove, New Jersey are also on the hunt for inflatable statue abusers. They are looking for two white men who attacked a blow-up Santa and left him wounded -- rather, punctured -- in several places, according to United Press International.
On December 9, at around 8:30 p.m., two men driving a Jeep Cherokee pulled up to a home and punched the Santa decoration on the lawn, causing $100 in damage. Neighbors reported the crime and police tried to track down the suspects, but have not yet been successful.
The holiday season is fun but sometimes fun leads to a spot of trouble. If you or someone you know finds yourself on the wrong side of the law because you caved into the irresistible impulse to punch an inflatable Santa, please speak to a criminal defense attorney.