$3,000 Santa Claus Stolen From West Texas Display 12/26/13
CBS 7 News
December 26, 2013
BIG SPRING-Organizers of the Comanche Trail Festival of Lights are outraged after an antique Santa Claus statue was stolen sometime on Christmas Eve.
It’s a $3,000-4,000 loss, but organizers say it’s not about the money, but a piece of Big Spring history.
More than one million lights glow at the Festival of Lights in Big Spring. A mechanical Santa Claus from a 1950's Big Spring store window is a centerpiece of one display. Now it's gone, taken sometime on Christmas Eve before a 6:00 p.m. check.
“It’s irreplaceable, you can’t put a price on it,” said Comanche Trail Festival of Lights Chairperson Pat Simmons. “What the actual value on it is three to four thousand, but there’s just no value you can put on that.”
“He goes with the old downtown Big Spring,” said Project Manager Howard Stewart, who discovered the missing statue. “For the older folks, they remember seeing him in the windows downtown.”
An elf, Mrs. Claus and an empty spot where Santa used to stand is all that’s left of that display.
“I think it’s pretty low-life to do that,” said one festival visitor.
“It’s terrible, they’re the Grinch,” said another woman.
This year, vandals also cut light strings at the display and messed up trails, putting a dent in the pocketbook of the Christmas festival.
“We’d rather buy lights, make more displays, add electricity, make it longer than have to buy additional security,” Stewart said.
Those behind the display have a simple message for the thief.
“We’d like to get him back to show that there are still good people out there,” Stewart said.
"Shame on you, please return Santa Claus to us,” Simmons said.
Whether Santa’s fellow statues will be on display again next year will be up to their owner. The displays are courtesy of The Big Spring State Hospital. Meanwhile, the Festival of Lights continues until December 31st.
If you have any information on where the Santa statue may be, contact Big Spring Police at 432-264-2550.