SAN FRANCISCO – There’s a damper on holiday cheer in one San Francisco neighborhood.
Owner Peter Sachs says someone stole a beloved Christmas attraction from his lawn and the thief stole something priceless from the neighborhood.
On this humid December night, there’s an extra chill in the air on 28th Avenue near Quintara Street in the Sunset neighborhood.
“I just got the two metal stakes on the ground here,” Sachs pointed out where he said someone stole the latest addition to his annual Christmas display from his lawn Monday night.
A 4ft inflatable Olaf, a character from the movie Frozen, has been secured with stakes and tied is now gone.
“It made me really angry and it made me really sad,” Sachs said. Sachs compared the thief to the Grinch who stole Christmas.
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“I don’t know how desperate you must be to take an inflatable in a blowing wind and rainstorm,” Sachs said.
He and his son discovered Olaf stolen Tuesday morning.
“We generally feel like it’s a pretty safe neighborhood. We’re taking the normal city precautions, but that really surprises me,” neighbor Carol-Ann Laughlin said.
Olaf was a favorite among the neighborhood kids.
“I saw kids taking selfies with Olaf and hugging Olaf,” Sachs said.
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Neighbors said Sachs was the first in the neighborhood to put up his Christmas display, and he enticed others to do so.
“The day he set them up he might have texted me, ‘Well, I’ve got a thousand lights on,’ neighbor Matt Goodwin said and his response was, ‘I started to put on lights too.”
Now Goodwin says he has a new concern about the Christmas exhibit he put together. “Just a sad situation where people have to worry about their Christmas decorations.”
Sachs said he’s been hosting a Christmas display here at the family home for a decade and nothing like this has ever happened before.
He said Olaf is only $30 but the joy he brings is priceless.
“People come by to see our decorations and those of others. You take away the whole neighborhood.” Sachs said he would buy another Olaf, but he probably won’t arrive until after Christmas. Still, he plans to display it until January.