Thieves target Decatur man's Christmas display

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DECATUR – For Pat O’Mara, there are few things he loves more than showing off his Christmas spirit.

“It does make me happy,” O’Mara said. “It puts me in a good mood every year. But the kids are the main thing. I do it for everyone else.”

But while O’Mara loves Christmas, he doesn’t consider this “the most wonderful time of the year.”

“This year, I put [my decorations] up early because it was so warm out and last week, [thieves] ripped me off again,” O’Mara said.

Those thieves cut the ropes around his 7-foot-tall Mrs. Claus inflatable and stole it right off his front lawn.

And this isn’t the first-time crooks have hit O’Mara’s house. Two years ago, he lost an inflatable snow globe to some neighborhood thieves.

“You could possibly run a cable through them all and then have it locked to a pole or tree,” said Sgt. Jim Hermann with the Macon County Sheriff’s Office. “Have them in a lit area where it’s not as accessible.”

Sgt. Hermann said the sheriff’s office sees around 10 to 25 thefts like this each year. But he added these thefts are still hard to prevent since most decorations sit outside unguarded for 24 hours a day.

With two thefts in two years, O’Mara is ready to put his Christmas decorating days in the past.

“You just feel violated,” he said. “It’s just sickening when people steal from you.”

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