A couple in Henry County has lost thousands of dollars worth of Christmas decorations after vandals slashed several inflatables on their front lawn.
Michael and Sharon Peters have lit up decorations outside their home on the 100 block of Ridgewood Road in Bassett for years without any problems. But sometime between 11 p.m. Sunday night and 7 a.m. Monday morning, many of their inflatable decorations were slashed, Michael Peters said.
Police are still trying to track down the person responsible. Peters said he was stunned to find many of his decorations destroyed.
“My first instinct was that something got unplugged, ’cause every now and then the plugs will come undone or something, but then I noticed the lights were on,” he said.
Peters and his wife have lived in Bassett for eight years and enjoy decorating their lawn for children in their neighborhood. They have collected inflatable decorations for more than a decade, but now many of them lie flat after being destroyed.
In total, 26 inflatables were slashed, Peters said, some of them worth nearly $400.
“It was a little like I’d been violated, I guess,” he said. “Your natural instinct is to trust people, and then when something like that happens, you kind of lose a little bit of that.”
The couple has placed a new sign on their front lawn to warn anyone who may cause trouble. They are also offering $500 of their own money as a reward for any information leading to an arrest, Peters said.
Several neighbors stopped by on Monday to survey the damage and offer well wishes. One person dropped off some old inflatable decorations of his own for the couple, Peters said.
“It only happens to good people, and Sharon and Mike are probably the best people that I know,” said John Viden, a neighbor.
The vandals will not stop the lights from coming on this year or for years to come, Peters said. But he now plans to keep a closer watch over his property.
“People do all kinds of stuff – they work hard and they save,” Peters said. “And some of this stuff’s 15 years old or more. It’s something that we have saved that we cherished, and it’s gone now. And people like that need to be punished.”
Anyone with information is urged to call the Henry County Sheriff’s Office.