SALINE COUNTY, Ark. (KTHV) — The Saline County Courthouse puts up a beautiful holiday display that thousands in the community look forward to every year.
Over a million lights are put up at the courthouse for its annual “Christmas on the Square.”
But this year, a group of people might find themselves on the naughty list after surveillance video caught them trying to steal a decoration from the lawn.
“About five people, we are guessing teenagers, were up here and looking in the window and the next thing we see on the video is them going into the play house,” Saline County Courthouse worker Vicki Hopkins said.
Surveillance video shows five people get out of their car around 10 p.m. Monday to look at the decorations. The group huddles near a display that is locked from the outside, but they break the door open to grab one of the props.
"They went in and stole a little [fake] puppy dog. They were parked across the street at the Recycle Saline Office, so we have their car on video,” Hopkins said.
Do these thieves just hate Christmas? The whole Christmas season? Now, please don’t ask why, no one quite knows the reason.
“I think they thought it would be a fun thing to do. They thought it would be cute or something,” Hopkins said.
Shelly Thompson owns a hair salon right across the street. She said she’s disappointed to hear someone would steal from the display.
"Kids will be kids. I know they didn't mean any harm,” Thompson said. “It’s sad that this time of year, that sort of thing happens.”
Hopkins said the courthouse is not too upset about the theft, but she is disheartened to see people ruin the holiday cheer.
“Everything is paid for through donations, from businesses and individuals. It’s for the community. We don’t have to worry about it not being able to be here because of vandalism or anything like that,” she said.
The courthouse has not had problems of people stealing from the Christmas display in the past, but they want to remind people not to do so, so you do not end up on the naughty list.
“We do have surveillance video all around the building, so we can pull up the feed and see things that are going on and can track them down if we need to,” Hopkins said.
But maybe these thieves will apologize once and for all, because even the Grinch’s heart isn’t that small.
“Have a heart. Don’t take our stuff. Just come enjoy it and leave it for everybody else to enjoy,” Hopkins said.
The courthouse is looking out for the thieves who ruined part of their Christmas display.
The official lighting for “Christmas on the Square” will be Monday, Dec. 4.