There’s a Grinch on the loose in Windham.

Just before Christmas last week, someone stole an inflatable Santa off the snowy lawn of David and Gale Field at 14 Stonebrook Road. The Santa was part of a series of Christmas decorations and lights lining their driveway, twinkling on their house and winding up nearby trees.

This is the second year in a row that thieves have stolen holiday ornaments from houses on Stonebrook Road where residents traditionally turn on the Christmas cheer with bright-light decorations that illuminate the neighborhood.

While walking the family dog last Thursday morning, Gale Field noticed a hole in the snow where a glowing Santa had cheerfully risen and fallen out of a fake chimney the night before.

Gale is still shocked as to why someone would want to interfere with her family’s holiday fun. She filed a report with the Windham Police Department last Thursday. Her husband David is likewise disappointed and adds, “the Grinch lives.”

“I’m not going to let it ruin my spirit, but how low can you go?” David asks.

It has become a Christmas tradition in the Field family and the surrounding neighborhood to dress up their yards and houses with a spectacle of lights and glowing lawn ornaments like toy soldiers, snowmen, fake Christmas trees and strings of multi-colored bulbs. Santa and his chimney, which the Fields bought for this year’s display, drew the attention of many visitors who came to view the lights at night.

David suspects that the “Grinch” may be a juvenile because the culprit didn’t weigh enough to break through the icy snow while stealing Santa. In order to steal Santa, the culprit also cut its wires, disconnecting nearby Christmas trees attached to the same circuit.

On Christmas Eve last year, David and Kitty Foss, who used to live across the street from the Fields, had “baby Jesus” stolen out of a Nativity scene on their lawn.

“I expected it to show back up, but it never did,” Foss said.

Foss was the biggest displayer of holiday decorations when he lived on the road, a tradition he continues at his new home in Rockland, and had a friendly competition with the Pitts who live next door to the Fields.

John Pitts, who tries to make his Christmas display “bigger and better” every year, said he and other neighbors try to keep watch on each other’s holiday decorations. Pitts is surprised no one has attempted to steal the dancing and singing Santa on his porch or any of the glowing characters on his lawn.

“I’m amazed that someone would do this,” Pitts said. “It’s probably just some kids pulling pranks, but it’s just too bad.”

Windham Police Chief Rick Lewsen hasn’t heard of any other decoration thefts in town, but said his officers will “keep an eye out” for the missing Santa.


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