Thieves return Christmas decoration after news story

Thieves return Christmas decoration after news story »Play Video
YAKIMA, Wash. -- A real-life Grinch took aim at a home in West Valley and made off with their Christmas decoration. The family lost their Christmas moose.

Duane Castles lives in a nice, quiet neighborhood that doesn't see much crime. That's why he couldn't believe it when thieves stole one of his Christmas decorations.

"We didn't have any pictures of the moose because he was only out for about six days,” said Duane. “But, in case anyone sees him, this is what he looks like."

Duane's Christmas moose was taken Saturday night. He knows because his surveillance cameras recorded the crime. Two cars drove up and somebody gets out of the second one and then makes a move for the house.

"Don't try to apprehend yourself,” said Duane. “These are probably very dangerous criminals that we have out there on the loose doing this kind of petty crime."

It's not so petty to Duane. He now has his other decorations locked up tight so it doesn't happen again.

"We posted the video to your news site and a couple of the posts mentioned that that's why people don't put up Christmas lights around here anymore is they've had too many stolen,” said Duane. “It's a shame."

Neighbor Charles Thomas is now thinking about putting his decorations away.

"I have a three-year-old son and he enjoys coming out and touching the decorations and looking at the reindeer,” said Charles. “And, now I feel that he won't have them to look at."

Duane hopes someone sees the video and helps nab the bad guys. Or, maybe the thieves will actually have a conscience.

"Feel free to drop the moose back by and we'll get a nice video of you putting it back on the lawn," said Duane.

He hesitated calling police at first. Once he did, the department responded by promising to patrol the neighborhood more often.

Duane now plans to install more security cameras around his home.

***Editor's note: Following the broadcast, Duane told KIMA the people who took the moose came to his house with an apology and returned his decoration!