Collin Moonen has spent more than $8,000 on Christmas spirit.
This year he covered his Fir Street house and front lawn in nearly 15,000 coloured lights and dozens of illuminated lawn ornaments.
It was lit up like … well … a Christmas tree.
But Thursday morning, when Moonen’s family woke up, they found the display wrecked and more than $1,000 in decorations, extension cords and power bars missing.
The three wise men from the Moonens’ nativity scene were knocked over in the snow and their giant inflatable Frosty was lying in a heap of limp plastic, having been punctured in the back.
The candy cane fence lining the front yard was knocked askew and the red-and-white-striped decorations were strewn down the street.
“Makes me wonder why I do this,” said Moonen, while standing on his decimated front lawn Thursday.
“Underneath the snow here are more of my candy canes and some lights.”
The thieves made off with two penguins, a Santa Claus, six plastic reindeer that were sitting on the roof, several strings of coloured lights that were attached to the house, extension cords, power bars and more than 30, metre-long candy canes, said Moonen.
“I’m hoping this is an isolated in incident.
“Hopefully, this isn’t going to deter anyone from putting up their lights.”
He thinks the crooks drove up to the house on a four-wheeler, loaded the goods on a toboggan attached to the back, and then took off toward 11th Avenue.
“These guys really did their homework,” he said, pointing out the tracks running in front of his house.
Despite the theft, Moonen retains his holiday spirit.
He’s been collecting the decorations for more than a decade and this year he plans to hang more lights and trim the tree with Christmas goodies, just like every other year.
“When kids are standing in front of my house and they’re smiling with their parents, that’s why I do this,” said Moonen.
After the RCMP come by his house to investigate the crime, Moonen will begin to rebuild.
“I’m going to replace what was stolen and hopefully this doesn’t happen again — kids can still come by and look at the lights.”