Copper Thieves Could Steal Christmas
By: Carly O'Keefe
By: Carly O'Keefe
WEST FRANKFORT, Ill. - Nothing says the holidays like brightly-colored twinkle lights, front-yard Santa's and reindeer. Unfortunately, a certain kind of Grinch could steal Christmas--right out of your front yard.
"A lot of people this time of year put outdoor decorations up. All of those are run through extension cords. Someone can run up, grab the extension cords and they're gone," said Jackson County Deputy Mark Wilson.
It might seem far-fetched, but even the copper inside that extension cord powering Frosty the Snowman is valuable to a scrap metal thief.
"The price of aluminum and copper to be scrapped out has gone up considerably. That's why this is taking place," said Wilson.
Tim Murphy is the man behind West Frankfort's Candy Cane Lane. It's an elaborate Christmas display that encompasses almost an entire neighborhood with hundreds of Christmas characters and thousands of twinkle lights. While Candy Cane Lane is a magical place, it's seen its share of theft. Three years ago, Murphy had 250 feet of extension cable come up missing.
"It was gone. I realized somebody had taken it for the copper," said Murphy. "It's something you have to keep in mind when you're dealing with as many cables as I do."
After that theft and several incidents of vandalism, Murphy has become more prepared. He has motion detecting lights in some areas, hourly police patrols, and a tiny (yet effective) Yorkshire terrier watch dog named "Ginger".
"If there's anybody around my house, this little dog barks," said Murphy.
Murphy also hopes to eventually install surveillance cameras to keep an eye on Candy Cane Lane.
"No Grinch is going to steal my Christmas!" said Murphy.
Even if your holiday display is a little less extravagant, Murphy has one solid suggestion to help just about anyone keep their home safe not only at Christmas, but year round.
"Have a good neighborhood watch. My neighbors are always watching out for me," Murphy said.