DIMBOOLA families are outraged thieves have spoiled their attempts to spread festive cheer.
Christmas lights and reindeer decorations have been stolen from multiple front yards and driveways in the town during the Christmas and New Year period.
It comes after thieves stole lights from a Horsham home earlier in December.
Dimboola’s Michael Henderson and his family were shocked to wake up on Friday morning to find Christmas lights missing from their display.
Mr Henderson said disappointment was an understatement for the way his family was feeling.
“It’s frustrating because you do these things to try to help the town and make it look good, and give the kids a bit of enjoyment, getting in the Christmas spirit,” he said.
“When you go outside in the morning and see your lights have been pinched, it doesn’t really make you feel like putting them back up again.” Mr Henderson said he was furious when he saw the lights were stolen.
“My two girls – who are five and seven– walked outside. Our five-year-old didn’t quite understand someone had pinched the reindeer, but our seven-year-old was upset,” he said.
“The disappointing thing is that we are not the first ones in town to have our lights pinched.”
Mr Henderson said he understood the perpetrators were children.
“I think it’s just kids trying to be funny but they don’t realise the consequences of it,” he said.
“It just shows they have no respect for anything.
“They come into your yard to pinch a reindeer but where does it stop? If they get away with that, next time they might think, ‘I might go out the back into his shed and see if he’s got power tools’, or rummage through a car.
Mr Henderson said he would report the incident to police.
“It’s probably a waste of their time but it would still be nice to report it so then they have an idea of what’s going on,” he said.
Mr Henderson said another family in the town had a tree stolen from their front yard.
Dimboola’s Glover family also had a reindeer stolen from their Christmas display before the offender returned for a second attempt.
Mother Wendy Glover said a reindeer was stolen from the family’s front yard around December 17.
Then, when the family woke at 4am on Thursday to travel to the cricket in Melbourne, Mrs Glover said one of her daughters noticed the silhouette of someone running away from their house.
She said she and her husband and their five children were infuriated.
“It wasn’t about the reindeer itself, it’s more about someone coming into your yard and taking stuff,” she said. “It’s disheartening for the girls.”
Mrs Glover said she would speak to the police about the incidents.
Horsham’s Debbie McKee reported to the Mail-Times in mid-December that lights were stolen from her garden, a week after she put up her Christmas display.
She said she was happy for the culprit to return the light to her yard and remain anonymous.