Destroyed lights dim Bundaberg family's Christmas spirit
WHAT should be a happy, festive time of year has turned into a nightmare before Christmas for one family after hundreds of dollars worth of lights were trashed and stolen.
Kim Lawson, who lives on Twyford St in Avoca, said her family were enjoying a birthday dinner at her home on Monday night when her son noticed the dazzling Christmas lights display at the front of their home had been destroyed.
"We live on a corner section and the lights all along the fence line were ripped off and broken in half - about 50 per cent of our lights were damaged,” she said.
"The vandals took the pop-up reindeer and our kids found Santa ripped to pieces further up the street.”
"They also pulled out our solar lights and broke them.”
Mrs Lawson estimated the damage bill to be about $300.
She said it was the first time her family had put up a Christmas display and would probably be the last.
"We are pretty broken hearted - more so for the kids,” she said.
"Our 13-year-old son was devastated - he was picking up the broken lights all down the street.
"Our five-year-old daughter was also very upset and said Santa wouldn't be visiting the vandals this Christmas.”
Mrs Lawson said she had managed to retrieve some of the stolen decorations from her front yard after a neighbour went searching the streets.
"My eldest daughter put a post on Facebook about what had happened and a man who lives nearby saw it and jumped in his car to have a look around for the rest of the decorations,” she said.
"He found a group of teenagers up the road who were in the vicinity of our reindeer that had been dumped.”
"He returned it to us and we reported his sighting to police.”
Mrs Lawson said the crime had come as a shock.
"You don't expect it,” she said.
"We wanted to put up the lights not only for our own kids enjoyment but for other families - it really is disappointing.”
Bundaberg Sergeant Mike McLellan said officers were investigating.
He said it was a timely reminder for residents to keep an eye out for any suspicious activity, with Christmas being a magnet for opportunistic thieves.
"This time of year crime does go up, people go away for the holidays and homes are broken into more frequently,” he said.
"Lock up your homes and your vehicles and be aware of any suspicious persons in the neighbourhood.”