In the 10 years John and Tracey Weber have put up their popular Christmas light display in their yard, they never had any trouble. This year, however, thefts out for lighted gnomes put a damper on the fun-spirited tradition.
While Tracey Weber said their annual display is not as extensive as Bob's World, it is filled with several eclectic pieces that John picks up when traveling. She got the gnomes one year at Urban Outfitters in San Francisco and hasn't seen anything like them in other displays.
A week before Christmas, the Webers noticed two of their nine 18-inch tall gnomes were missing from their Gray Fox Circle home. Thinking it was a neighborhood prank, Tracey Weber said they drove around to spot them, but with no luck. A few days later, they noticed two more were missing.
"Someone had unplugged the other decorations and even took extension cords," Tracey Weber said. "Who would come back and steal twice?"
Soon, all but one gnome was gone. And sometime between New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, one of the three kings from their lighted nativity scene was taken.
"It took my son at least 45 minutes to wire each gnome and the wires were cut," she continued. "Someone came prepared to take them."
While the family has not gone forward to the police, they recalled reading a similar story in the Weekly, where stolen decorations were anonymously returned.
Their home on Gray Fox Circle is listed on LightsoftheValley.com and has always had a large line of cars passing by, especially on Christmas Eve. Tracey Weber said they will continue to decorate next year despite the damper put on this year's display.
"We don't want [the thieves to ruin it for everyone else," she said.
In the meantime, the lone gnome awaits the return of his counterparts.
Dick and Linda Sanders, who live on Greenwood Road, were also the victims of a Christmas display theft. A 5-foot-tall Frosty the Snowman was stolen around Sunday night.
Linda Sanders said they had intented to take down the display on Sunday, but were too tired after church. When they arrived home from helping a hospital take down decorations, Frosty was gone.
"He was a gift from our daughter and delighted many over the Christmas season," she said.
She, too, hoped that the snowman would be returned undamaged.