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Surveillance cameras capture Christmas caper involving prized inflatable decor

Posted at 5:40 PM, Dec 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-27 19:28:15-05

CLEVELAND — Two people who deserve nothing more than coal in their stockings were caught on home surveillance camera stealing a large inflatable Minnie Mouse holiday display from a Cleveland home early Friday morning.

The inflatable display, which depicts Minnie Mouse in front of a cartoon home, was given to the Grinnell family several years ago as a gift. Each Christmas, the display has been a focal point of the family’s holiday display in Cleveland’s Old Brooklyn neighborhood. It was also deeply cherished by Paul and Allison Grinnell’s children.

“I was happy that it made kids happy,” said Paul Grinnell Jr., 8. “It made me happy because of the joy of Christmas spirit.”

Just before 1:40 a.m. on Friday, the Grinnell family’s home security system captured video of the two décor thieves sneakily approaching the blow-up display before they hastily removed it from the stakes. Seconds later, the duo ran down the 2600 block of Colburn Avenue in Old Brooklyn with the giant inflatable in hand.

Paul Grinnell Sr. said the theft of the inflatable is about the principal of it.

“It’s minor. It’s very minor. It’s a yard blow-up. However, you feel insecure because there is nothing you can do about it. It happens so fast and then it’s gone,” Grinnell said. “Love needs to spread. Hate needs to stop. Do good for your neighbors. Don’t take from your neighbors.”

Grinnell Jr. said the theft doesn’t ruin the entire Christmas season but, instead, makes the family even more determined to have a bigger display next year.

“We’ll do bigger and better. Yup, bigger and better,” Grinnell Jr. said. “[We’ve] been doing this for years so we are never giving up on the Christmas spirit. Never.”