by Diane Tuazon
MIDLAND - The festive decorations propped up on your lawn can make you a target for vandals and thieves, waiting to get their hands on your Christmas spirit.
"We've had light bulbs smashed, I don't know if that was intentional, but it was inexpensive to replace," Sandi Hanks said.
For others, the damage was a lot worse.
"They're stealing them and putting them on their own lawn, so they don't have to spend the $100 on decorations," Sgt. Jim Crouse with the Midland Police Dept., said.
Officials at the Midland Police Department say vandalism and theft on holiday decorations are on a rise in the community.
"People are puncturing snow globes crushing lights. Kids are out of school and don't have homework to keep them busy, so the problem will just keep picking up," Sgt. Crouse said.
Sgt. Crouse says it's difficult to find the resources to track down the suspects involved in the vandalism and thefts.
"It ties down policemen, we've exhausted all we can do. It takes a while to solve," Sgt. Crouse said.
Officials say proper placement of the decorations is key to keeping yourself from becoming a victim.
"Place them closer to the home and not on sidewalks; put them in well lit areas that way they're not easily vandalized," Sgt. Crouse said.
Officials also advise you to be in contact with your neighbors. If you're going to be out of town, let a close neighbor know, so that they can keep an eye on who sets foot on your property.