Thieves steal donation box for Spartanburg light display - FOX Carolina 21

Thieves steal donation box for Spartanburg light display

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SPARTANBURG, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Several homes in the Upstate community have experienced vandalism or even theft of holiday decorations this season.

As Christmas gets closer the criminal activity hasn't stopped, and for one Christmas decorating fanatic it's gotten worse. Thieves took her yard decorations last month, and Friday night police say a grinch struck again.

The Horton's home in Spartanburg has been completely lit up with holiday lights for 25 years. It's popular in the neighborhood, but the display racks up almost $200 a month extra on their utility bill. To help pay that cost they put out a box for donations, but Saturday that box was gone. Police say thieves stole it.  

"I don't know why, I really don't know," said Ellen Horton. "Unless they need the money for something to eat or what, I really don't know."

Earlier this season thieves took Horton's reindeer, Christmas tree, and snowmen. They were part of a collection she's been building for a quarter of a century. Most are gifts from family but some are even from strangers hoping she'll give their lights new life.

"I just treasured it, it was part of me," said Horton.

Now she's worried the thieves have only just begun scooping out her stash of Christmas cheer, and will be back. She says, the police told her there's only one way to stop crooks for sure.

"All I can do is take it all in at night, and set it back out at day," said Horton. "I can't do that."

Horton says she'd simply like all of her decorations back where they belong.

"It just makes your heart sick," she said.

Horton says it's doubtful thieves got away with much money, she and her husband empty the donation box each night.

She said despite what has happened this year, as long as she's physically able to she'll keep putting out the decorations every year.

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