ESCONDIDO — A family is rebuilding their outdoor Christmas display after an unknown thief stole several costly inflatables from their front yard in November.
Desanie Reyes and her family began setting up their large collection of Christmas decorations the day after Halloween. The huge display is a family tradition they started several years ago at their previous San Marcos home and carried on for the last three years at their newer Escondido home off of Bear Valley Parkway.
“I’m all about Christmas,” Reyes said.
It usually takes the Reyes family – including Desanie, her husband and their seven children – a few weeks to complete their colorful holiday setup.
The family woke up one morning in mid-November to pick up where they left off decorating.
“We were outside and had just started playing Christmas music to finish decorating the huge tree in our front yard when I noticed that I only saw one of my reindeers outside,” she said.
Reyes remembered putting out her entire reindeer set, including her favorite reindeer with large antlers – a sentimental gift from her husband’s late grandmother – but the couple returned to the garage to make sure it wasn’t still in storage. When they confirmed that they had put the reindeers out, they went back out to the yard and began to notice several other items were missing too.
Also missing was Reyes’ 8-foot Santa Claus decoration and several Star Wars Christmas inflatables – including their Darth Vader, Boba Fett, Mandalorian spaceship, Chewbacca and stormtrooper – from the family’s “portal,” a large, arched light display her husband built to go along with the Star Wars decorations.
Reyes’ children were devastated when they found out someone had stolen their decorations. The missing Star Wars collection was particularly painful for the kids who had used their own money to buy the inflatables. Those decorations weren’t easy to come by either, Reyes noted, and would likely be difficult to replace completely.
“Our kids spent their savings to buy these decorations for someone to just steal them away from us,” Reyes said. “We just couldn’t understand why someone would come over and steal our stuff like this. We’ve never had any incidents before.”
Reyes said she almost gave up and wanted to put everything back, but her husband convinced her otherwise.
“He said we can’t let them take our spirit away,” she said.
Since the incident, the family has started a GoFundMe to raise money to help replace the costly decorations that were stolen.
So far, the family is almost halfway to their goal of $1,000, which has helped to lift Reyes’ umbered holiday spirits. The family also received a generous donation of Star Wars inflatables from a couple who heard about the theft.
“They were so sweet, and my kids were so excited and grateful,” Reyes said.
Though the family’s Christmas spirit still hasn’t fully recovered, their worries seem to melt away when they plug in the lights at night.
“Once we plug it in, it’s so beautiful,” Reyes said.
They also feel better since installing another camera that will catch any future thievery attempts.
Those who are interested in helping can visit gofundme.com/f/stolen-christmas-decorations-help-reyes-family.