Thief has change of heart, returns Ruscombmanor family's stolen Christmas decorations

Thief has change of heart, returns stolen Christmas decorati

RUSCOMBMANOR TWP., Pa. - The holiday spirit has been renewed for one family after a Grinch took aim at their Christmas display in Berks County.

Decorations were stolen from the family's front yard in Ruscombmanor Township, but their Christmas wish came true when the items were recovered.

Ricky Vaccaro never thought he'd see his brand new decorations ever again.

Santa's helicopter and a giant reindeer were last seen Sunday sitting atop the snow outside his home on Bull Road.  

"I noticed some of the reindeer were knocked over, and when I came back out and went to turn them on, I realized they weren't there," said Vaccaro, who spent his entire life in Berks County.

Vaccaro's brother bought the two inflatable Christmas decorations this year for his niece and nephew. When Vaccaro's 3-year-old daughter realized her reindeer friend was stolen, she was devastated and left in tears.

"She didn't understand why somebody would take decorations that they like. They come out here and hug these things everyday," said Vaccaro.

Vaccaro called the police, but he also turned to Facebook. He posted a message on his profile, "Really... how desperate are you for decorations that you had to steal my kids blow ups? Unreal. You have two options, return them and set them up as you found them, or when the police look at video tape they will come and arrest you. Your choice."

"It's one thing to steal something; now you're stealing kids' Christmas decorations. Kind of makes the holidays a little grinchy," said Vaccaro.

The thieves had a change of heart, and after that post made its rounds, Ricky said the decorations were recovered. He picked them up Thursday, no questions asked.

"They're staked in the ground really good, and now it's frozen, so they probably won't get them out," Vaccaro said.

Vaccaro does not plan to press any charges. He's happy his kids' Christmas decorations are back, and he plans to install a surveillance camera to better protect his property.

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