Dyker Heights is home to the city's most elaborate Christmas decorations, but now residents are on alert after one neighbor's five-foot Santa display was stolen from the yard on Monday afternoon. The victimized homeowner described the incident: The thief "pulled out the Santa just to see how it was connected, took out a knife, ripped off the twine...looked to see how else it was connected, put the knife back in his pocket." It was caught on video:
The owner, Anthony Parascandolo, didn't realize that Santa was missing until the next day, when his five-year-old daughter tipped him off: "When I got home, she got out of the car, and she yelled out, 'Daddy, where's Santa Claus?’ I get out of the car after her, and Santa Claus is gone."
He then posted a neighbor's security video on his Instagram and Facebook pages. Parascandolo told Bensonhurst Bean, "My decoration may be peanuts compared to the numerous houses in the area of Dyker Heights that have thousands and thousands of dollars worth in decorations," but stressed that the issue of holiday decoration theft affects all of us.
"Some of my neighbors have statues. They spend thousands. Who’s to say this perpetrator won’t do it to them," he said to WCBS 2. He added that he "feels violated."
Apparently police have recommended that homeowners put statues and other holiday lawn decorations inside during the night, but have the cops seen these things? It would take hours to bring them all in!
On Staten Island, Facebook-shaming recently helped get some decorative holidays lights returned by a guilty thief.