The tire tracks lead right through the manger scene at Mohave Street and Illinois Boulevard in Hoffman Estates.
The car that left them was filled with vandals who drove through a suburban yard on some sort of destructive mission, Saturday. In the process, they tore through the heart of the Michels family’s Christmas display that used to be the pride of their Christmas season.
“My wife hasn’t stopped crying,” said homeowner Jeff Michels, as he looked out over the ruined inflatable Snoopy his family had just purchased. “I know its only decorations but its stuff we collected over 23 years.”
The vandals struck sometime between midnight and 4 a.m. Saturday morning, leaving almost $1,500 in damage in their wake. The car narrowly missed a stop sign, and the family’s home.
A small rum bottle can be seen in one of the tire tracks. Michels.
“This is ridiculous,” said neighbor Rich Jeffers. “You can’t even have something in your own yard.
The Michels family has filed a police report, but for now, they aren’t cleaning up the debris or rebuilding the display. Jeff Michels is offering a reward, but he want the damage to serve as a reminder to others of how mean some people can be during what is supposed to be the happiest time of the year.
“If somebody got something wrong with me or my wife or my kids,” Michels said. “Come do it to me, but don’t take it out on stuff like this."
As hard as it is to see the damage -- one week before Christmas -- Michels said the hardest thing is explaining to his two children what happened.
“Its just very depressing,” said Jeff’s son Ron, who had helped put up the decorations. “Seeing all this stuff destroyed,” he said, “it puts me out of the Christmas spirit.”
Already, one local nursery has offered to help replace some of what the vandals had destroyed, but Michels says he's not sure what he's going to do. "Maybe, I will wait until Christmas Eve and put it back up then," he said.