Downtown Kamloops Christmas decorations targeted by thieves and vandals | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Downtown Kamloops Christmas decorations targeted by thieves and vandals

There have been more instances of tampering with or stealing Christmas decorations in downtown Kamloops this season than previous years.
December 17, 2020 - 3:15 PM

There are Grinches running amok in downtown Kamloops causing more havoc with Christmas decorations than ever before. 

Over the past few weeks, the decorations put up by downtown businesses and the Kamloops Central Business Improvement Association have been repeatedly tampered with. 

"We’ll go set up, re-install and repair, and we’re greeted the next morning with discarded lights, and decorations that have been stolen," executive director Carl DeSantis said. "It’s really frustrating for the businesses, it’s really frustrating for our community."

Lights have been broken and scattered across the sidewalk, cut, stolen and even unplugged, affecting entire city blocks. 

"People go downtown to enjoy and get themselves into the Christmas spirit and they’re greeted by darkened streets because of this behaviour," he said. "It’s terrible."

The decorations are provided by the business owners, the business association and the B.C. Wildlife Park. Replacing them isn't cheap, DeSantis said.

READ MORE: Storybook Village planned for downtown Kamloops instead of parade

"We’ve had a few garbage bags full of discarded lights that have either been cut or damaged in other ways that we’ve had to replace since this started," he said.

The decorations are a part of the Storybook Village, which was set up to replace the annual Santa Claus Parade, as it couldn't take place due to COVID-19.

Even though many of the lights on the trees are up all year, they along with the seasonal decorations have been tampered with more this month than they ever have before.

DeSantis just wants the behaviour to stop.

"I don’t want to see anybody get themselves into a really bad situation. I just want this to stop, and that’s what our business community would prefer," he said. "I think that with more eyes on the street monitoring the situation, if something was to happen, efforts would be made to hold people accountable."

To contact a reporter for this story, email Brie Welton or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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