The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

December 10, 2012

Vandals strike neighborhood

By Robert Barron, Staff Writer
Enid News & Eagle

ENID, Okla. — How do you talk to a 2-year-old about the destruction of the Christmas decorations in the yard?

That’s the problem Clint and Desiree Moritz, living in the 2700 block of Oakridge, had after their decorations were destroyed by vandals Sunday night. They had a Mr. and Mrs. OSU Snowman standing in the yard that were punctured and fell down, two lighted trees that were knocked down and a blow-up Santa they got in Germany that was taken down and torn up. They found its head in a ditch.

Their children, 2 and 9, were fond of the Santa and were upset about the vandalism.

“We talked about bad people in the world coming and taking stuff,” Desiree Moritz said. “We didn’t find it until we were taking them to school, and we tried to explain to them there are bad people who are not nice to our things.”

She also said they will not leave anything outside anymore. According to Enid Police Department records, there have been recent reports of Christmas decorations being vandalized, along with the usual types of vandalism, but not on a large scale.

“It’s silly kids stuff. It happens every year,” said EPD Chief Brian O’Rourke. “Vandalism is a disgusting crime. People think they can damage and break someone else’s property.”

Moritz said the OSU decorations cost about $100 each, but the Santa they got in Germany was sentimental to them and their children. She said their neighbors also had some similar decorations damaged, and a house around the corner on Nottingham had a train pulling presents that was damaged.

This is the first time this type of vandalism has happened to the Moritz family. She has plants outside in the summer and decorations at Halloween that have never been touched. She doubts they will put up decorations again.

“I don’t know if we will decorate outside again, because it takes so long and so much was damaged,” she said. “We will put things in that are expensive and meaningful. They may be back. Apparently, they don’t have anything better to do.”

All of the decorations were staked down, and some were double-staked. The vandals tipped over, scattered and flattened them.

“Our kids like to look at it and know its our house with that in front of it,” Moritz said. “It’s still laying flattened down in the yard. The tree and the OSU guy they didn’t get, the other is a pile of wire stuff the way they left it last night.”

O’Rourke said vandalism is hard to prevent because it is a crime of opportunity: If someone sees the opportunity, they will take it. However, he said if decorations are lighted, do not leave them on all night.

“Neighbors can help each other by watching out for their neighbors’ homes. We try to do more patrol emphasis because of the holiday, especially at night,” he said. “It’s a hard crime to solve and catch.”

If anyone knows of someone committing vandalism, O’Rourke urged them to notify police.