Christmas Display Vandalized

Police looking for information

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The Payson Police Department is looking for individuals who vandalized an outdoor Christmas display at a home Friday night.

A home in the 600 block of St. Moritz St. suffered more than $800 in damage to Christmas items, said Payson Police Sgt. Henry Thomason.

Thomason said the resident, Dee Payne, had several animated inflatable ornaments in her yard.

Payne said she first heard a pop, and 15 to 20 seconds later, a big bang was heard at the front door.

The big bang was the sound of someone pushing an inflatable Santa Claus into the front door.

"They had to come up in the walkway to get close to him, " she said.

The vandals destroyed all nine of the inflatable Christmas ornaments she had around her front yard. They included a train with elves, Santa Claus on a motorcycle, a merry-go-round and a snowman.

The inflatables have numerous slices in them, making them impossible to repair.

"It deflates your ego," Payne said. "It is so disheartening when you put so many hours into it." She said it took her and others about a month to decorate her front yard.

Vandalism would not surprise her in Phoenix, she said, but she never envisioned this type of behavior in Payson.

"To have this happen makes you sick," Payne said. "It ruins it for everyone.

"So many people got such joy from looking at it."

Sgt. Thomason said another home close to Payne's had its decorations vandalized on Friday night as well.

He said the vandals left their footprints, which is one reason he believes juveniles were responsible.

Payson Police Commander Don Engler said Monday afternoon that the case was still open. Anyone with information is asked to call the Payson Police Department at (928) 474-5177.

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