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Rose Park 'grinches' go on neighborhood holiday decoration stealing spree

Posted at 9:56 PM, Dec 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-15 23:57:01-05

SALT LAKE CITY — A Rose Park neighborhood hopes to track down a group of thieves the neighbors believe stole a flurry of large holiday decorations from a number of homes in the middle of the night.

Surveillance video from several neighbors shows a group of four walking down various streets in the area around Carousel Street.

Carousel is known for its Christmas display.

"We all tried to put up an effort to bring a little bit [of] joy and magic to the holiday season," said Megan Tallon, who has lived there for seven years.

Her festive display is right at the very end for families to enjoy as they make their way up the road.

"As people come up Carousel, you see the big tree, and then there was a herd of deer and animals," she said, walking around her yard.

On Monday, she said she saw a neighbor post about missing yard decorations.

"We looked out and it was like, they're all gone," Tallon said of her own yard.

Two bucks — one with a fancy rotating head — a doe, fawn, white deer, hedgehog, llama, and projector all vanished in the night.

The culprits were caught on her security cameras, but they only appear as dark, shadowy figures in her yard.

"We saw four individuals walk up the street, and they came into the yard and they literally leaned down and grabbed deer and then just walked away with them," she said of what the surveillance shows.

Tallon found out through her community Facebook group that several other neighbors came out Monday morning to discover their decorations, too, went missing overnight.

"Looking at it and other people being like, 'Yeah we lost this, and we lost that,' and some people had some, that their inflatables had been slashed," she said.

FOX 13 reached out to eight people in different homes who said they were victims in the rash of thefts.

Neighbors dubbed the small group the "Grinches of Rose Park."

"It seems pretty appropriate," Tallon said.

Surveillance from a few houses on streets near Tallon's home shows the four snatching decorations from yards and walking around with large bulky items.

The neighbors all guessed it was likely a group of teens who may have ditched the decorations somewhere.

While some said they contacted police and filed reports, others said they did not because the items didn't seem serious or expensive enough to report.

Salt Lake City Police said they have taken in online reports and encouraged everyone with missing yard decorations to contact them. They also welcome any surveillance from neighbors.

Tallon ended up finding two of her deer a few houses down and said she's walked the neighborhood in search of her other decorations with no luck.

She hopes the group will have a change of heart and return what they stole.

"Those deer cost hundreds of dollars, and that's taken me seven years to collect all those," she said.

While Tallon expressed that she doesn't think there's any malice behind the young group's late-night shenanigans, she does want them to know the impact this had on the neighborhood.

Even if the lights on many homes still shine bright, neighbors have indicated that their holiday spirit has dimmed because of the Rose Park Grinches who stole Carousel's Christmas.

"You've definitely brought it down a little bit on a year when everything is already tough," she said. "So, just be mindful of your neighbors. We're a community, and we need to try to pull together."