Grinches Fail to Steal Christmas

Donated decorations to replace display destroyed by vandals

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Charlie Wojciechowski
    A South Suburban family's Christmas decorations now lie in ruins on their front lawn -- decapitated wisemen, deflated snowmen and an overturned carousel are all that are left of the their animated holiday display.

    There may be a couple of grinches in Montgomery, but the Christmas Spirit prevails.

    Within a day that a South suburban family's Christmas decorations were destroyed by vandals, others are offering up new items to adorn the yard.

    "Please allow us to help out," Scott Andrews of Mundelein wrote to homeowner Maribel Silva via e-mail.  "My son and I will bring a van full of decorations for you so that the vandals will see that no matter what they do, the Spirit of Christmas will not go out."

    An Aurora man, Michael Block, also insisted on donating decorations.  He said that because he's disabled, he is no longer able to use them and wanted to find a good home for them.

    Surveillance Cameras Record Grinchy Vandals

    [CHI] Surveillance Cameras Record Grinchy Vandals
    A South Suburban family's Christmas decorations now lie in ruins on their front lawn -- decapitated wisemen, deflated snowmen and an overturned carousel are all that are left of the their animated holiday display.

    "We are so touched by the goodwill and generosity of these people," Silva said via e-mail.

    She and her husband, Jesus, said they woke up Wednesday and found their Christmas display in ruins on their front lawn -- decapitated wisemen, deflated snowmen and an overturned carousel are all that were left of the their animated holiday display.

    "At first I thought it was the wind," Jesus Silva explained.  Then he checked his surveillance recording and couldn't believe what he saw:  two hooded teens ripping up his decorations in the darkness of night.

    "My heart was broken when I saw that," said Maribel Silva, "especially when [one of the teens] saw the camera and kept doing it."

    Jesus Silva said earlier in the day that he wouldn't let the vandalism ruin his holiday.  He said he planned to salvage what he could and planned for an even bigger display next year.  The new decorations will ensure that this Christmas, and those in the years to come, will be merry and bright.

    The family said they plan on placing small plaques in front of the decorations as a token of appreciation and to remind them of the generosity each time they use them.

    Montgomery police said there are other reports of Christmas lights being cut overnight.  Police do not have any suspects in the vandalism cases.