Brazen Christmas thievery in Centennial captured on surveillance

Surveillance video captured several people vandalizing and stealing Christmas decorations from a festive home in Centennial. 12/4/17.

CENTENNIAL - EDITOR'S NOTE 12/5/17: This story has a happy ending! The father of one of the people shown in the surveillance video saw it on Facebook and flew out to Colorado to make his child apologize. Read the update here.

Some Christmas vandals appear to have targeted one of the most festive homes south of Denver. 

For the past eight years, The Stricker Family has set up an incredible light display from Thanksgiving until New Years Day in their Centennial neighborhood.

Over the weekend, their home surveillance cameras captured several people tearing down lights and even smashing and stealing some of their light-up Christmas statues. 

The apparent thieves made off with a three-foot dinosaur wearing a Santa hat, shoving it crudely into the back of a sedan before speeding off.

Joe Stricker, who runs the display, also says they ripped the heads off of two of his reindeer and threw them into the street. Lights were ripped up and there was some other damage to a smaller dinosaur, he said.

On the surveillance video, you can see the suspects ripping out cords and several stakes that hold items to the ground. 

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The setup, known as "Stricker’s Winter Wonderland" is well known in the Streets of Southglenn neighborhood.

The display takes days to set up - Joe Stricker says this year, he spent 80 hours perfecting it.

Stricker noticed his deer had been disturbed and his little dinosaur was broken on Sunday.

He went back to the surveillance video Sunday afternoon and watched the brazen vandalism take place just past midnight on Saturday morning.

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The lights run on a timer each evening from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and include "Holiday Specs," tens of thousands of LED lights, a retelling of The Night Before Christmas and more.

The family says they use the holiday display to raise money for their kids' elementary school nearby.

A police report for damaged and stolen Christmas decorations was filed with the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office, which is investigating. 

If you recognize the people in the video, please call Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867. 

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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