Christmas spirit goes with theft of lights

EDITORIAL:Lights theft spoils season

BORDER families will not see Al Skinner dressed as Santa this year after thieves robbed the West Wodonga resident of his Christmas spirit.

The Links Street resident has spent many years decorating his house with Christmas lights and ornaments, in later years dressing up as Santa and handing out lollies and gifts.

On Monday night a set of solar lights was stolen from his property where he lives with his wife.

It has left the Foodshare volunteer with a feeling he can’t shake.

“There’s enough misery in the world and Christmas lights brings cheer,” Mr Skinner said.

Mr Skinner was approached by two young sisters in his neighbourhood, Hayley and Zoey Nolan, who wanted to volunteer as helper elves.

“I had to break the news to them, they were disappointed but they understood,” he said.

A neighbour told Mr Skinner they had seen teenage girls lurking around his home on the night the lights disappeared.

“The suspicion is that it was teenagers,” he said.

“They don’t realise the damage they cause.”

It is not the first time thieves have struck.

Mr Skinner had a bird bath stolen eight years ago and an inflatable Santa was taken four years ago.

Hayley Nolan, 10, came up with the idea of helping Mr Skinner this year.

“Last year he was having trouble handing out lollies and taking pictures,” she said.

“I thought it would be nice to give a helping hand.”

Sister Zoey, 8, was also looking forward to helping.

“I feel disappointed, I was looking forward to it,” she said.

Mother Lisette Nolan said stealing Christmas lights was “not on”.

“People stealing Christmas lights is something that happens every year, but this time it has affected our family,” she said.

“They are a nice couple, they do it out of the kindness of their hearts.”

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