Christmas lights stolen from Urbana display

URBANA—A University of Illinois student tries to light up his apartment complex for the holiday season, only to have part of his bright display stolen.

It's a lighting display designed to bring holiday cheer to all those passing by, but during this season of giving, some are taking what is not theirs.

It happened Thursday night, just hours after lighting design graduate student Michael Shoaf finished hanging up his impressive decorations. He discovered four strands of Christmas lights missing from the railing outside his apartment.

The culprits: caught on tape, thanks to personal security cameras Shoaf hung up outside after other items went missing in the past.

He filed a report with Urbana Police.

“It's what I love and my passion so it definitely it was kind of like a stake to the heart,” said Shoaf, a first year graduate student studying lighting design. “I really wanted to get them pursued and found out who took it.  It's just like stealing someone's wallet or laptop, even though it's cheaper, it's not as much of an investment, it's still about the principal.”

Shoaf estimates the loss at around $60.

Despite the stolen strands, the holiday spirit is still shining bright on Shoaf's porch.

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