‘Grinch’ strikes Valdes family

Christina O'Haver, The Union Democrat /

A Grinch has stolen at least part of one Mother Lode family's Christmas.

Sunday morning, members of the Valdes family woke to discover a light-up teddy bear had been swiped from the family's modest outdoor Christmas display.

It wasn't just another adornment.

The decoration was given to little Nicholas Valdes, 4, by his grandmother when he was born, according to father, Dan Valdes.

"It's still missing," Nicholas Valdes said Wednesday. "I'm just frustrated."

The boy can't understand why the teddy bear is missing and asks if it will return.

"It's hard to instill logic in somebody who is still struggling with logic," Dan Valdes explained.

The light-up teddy bear sat atop a rocking horse in front of the family home, on the 21900 block of Russian River Drive.

"He just loved that little rocking horse with the little bear, and it devastated all of us," grandmother Sally Valdes said.

Dan Valdes said he turned off all the holiday lights during last weekend's rain storm. He believes the thief struck during that time.

He said the foot-tall bear, made of metal springs and fabric, has to be unplugged before it can be removed from the rocking horse.

"It was amazing how they just took the bear," Valdes said of the thief. "You've got a rocking horse out there with no rider."

He notified the Tuolumne County Sheriff's Office Sunday morning, about 8:40. A deputy visited the home and took a report.

Valdes hopes the thief will return the bear. He said it could be dropped off at his yard or he'll accept it with "no questions asked."

"It's very disappointing," he said. "I would just like to have him back."

Christmas decoration thefts are not unusual.

A Jamestown residence was hit last week. The Sheriff's Office reported that light-up animals from a home on the 17700 block of Red Oak Drive were taken on Nov. 28.

11885011
The Union Democrat
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