SEBASTOPOL, Calif. (KRON) – It appears a Grinch has arrived early this year at Sebastopol Hardware Center off of Gravenstein Highway. The store’s Christmas set-up was ruined for no reason.
In the early morning hours, an unknown vandal slashed and spray-painted over Christmas decorations and inflatables. The destroyed display was upsetting for general manager Dan Allingham. He tells KRON4, “It was disheartening because we’re a small town. Sebastopol is a really small town and we’re a really well-known name, and well-liked. Our community really supports us.”
A Santa on a motorcycle along with eight other blow-up lawn ornaments were found sliced open and sprayed Sunday morning. The nativity scene was also tagged with black paint.
The spirited display outside of the hardware center’s holiday tent is meant for families passing by in their cars. It’s nearly empty for the time being.
Security video was unable to catch the Grinch in the act. It shows a man walking around with what appears to be some sort of cutting tool.
Over the last six years the store has not had any issues with vandalism and Allingham says the holiday market is always hot. The inflatables, which cannot be repaired, cost around $1,300.
It’s a bit of a setback but count on the store to bring back the holiday cheer. Allingham tells KRON4, “We’re not going to let anybody stop us from celebrating Christmas and having a nice Christmas display out there. Our goal is just to keep pushing forward and we’ll get redecorated and have a nice display for people to see from the road.”
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The Sebastopol Police Department is on the case. They’re hoping to have a suspect soon.