Freeport, Illinois — We all love the holidays and the time of year where homeowners decorate their homes with lights and holiday lawn decorations that bring out the spirit of Christmas. A lot of local homeowners (and non-homeowners) spend a lot of time and money to give us some of the most beautiful sights of the year.
But there are some little holiday helpers out there who’d like to help their hands to your holiday stuff.
We’ve been notified of multiple instances where an attempt, (some successful, some not) has been made to wreck or steal Christmas light projectors, lawn decorations and other such holiday decor.
“Be on the lookout. We have or.. Had… Several Christmas light projectors in the ground and this evening someone either decided to wreck them or tried to steal them and changed their mind as one was turned, one was pulled out of the ground and broken, and the other was untouched”, one person wrote in and said.
Another resident a few weeks back on Walnut had the same issue. They had cameras setup to catch who may decide to mess around with their holiday decorations though.
While it may be late in the year to perform some of the below safety tips, here’s a few ways you can keep your Christmas decorations protected from theft this holiday season.
Before you do anything, take pictures of your decorations. Mark down a serial number or item name and take a picture of the items that you have. (You should do this with other things you own as well)
1. Buy heavy, bulky lawn decorations such as life-sized statues. Larger decorations are more trouble to steal and move quickly, which reduces the chance of theft.
2. Pound a rebar or metal stake into the ground directly behind your lawn decoration using a rubber mallet. Attach the decoration to the stake using sturdy rope or chain, preferably through holes or openings in the back of the decoration to hide them from view. This makes it more difficult for a thief to quickly snatch the lawn decoration.
3. Dig a shallow hole with a shovel. Stir fast-set concrete with water in a wheelbarrow, per package instructions, and scoop it into the hole with a trowel. Use the trowel to level the concrete, then set the lawn decoration on top. Cover the foundation with mulch to hide it from view.
4. Lay a large, heavy piece of wood on the ground. Set the lawn decoration on top of the wood, and secure it to the wood with wood bolts using a socket wrench or power driver. This method is best used with decorations that have built-in mounting holes on the base. If yours doesn’t have holes, you might be able to drill holes with a masonry drill — it depends on how your decoration is configured.
5. Install motion-activated security lights on the outside of your home facing your lawn decorations. When a person walks into your yard after dark, the lights automatically turn on. Thieves prefer the cover of darkness and are less likely to steal your decorations when in the spotlight.
6. Install small GPS tracking devices on your lawn decorations in inconspicuous places, such as inside hollow decorations or along the base. These can be pricey to purchase and to pay for the monthly tracking service, but they allow you to locate your decorations if they’re stolen.
7. Installing security cameras on the exterior of your home can help you monitor the lawn decorations, although they might not prevent the theft. Motion-activated cameras turn on only when triggered by movement, or you can choose cameras that take photos every few seconds. Select cameras with night-vision capabilities and with disk storage or hard drives so that you can show photos of perpetrators to police if your lawn decorations are stolen
8. Don’t forget the power of Social Media. If a holiday gremlin gets away with stealing your stuff, just remember your photo and your story on social media can go a long way to finding your stuff. You’d be surprised the pressure of an entire city looking for someone who not only stole something, but stole Christmas decorations.