SAN JOSE, Calif. - A thief steals holiday decorations from a homeowner's front yard in San Jose. They weren't just any decorations. They were part of a Christmas display for the homeowner's terminally ill son.
Shelly Jimenez built an elaborate Halloween display for her dying son. Her Christmas display was not even up for two weeks when someone stole some props and her son's joy.
“I put my heart and soul into this and for someone to do this, it's really sad,” said Jimenez.
Blue ornaments, garland and an angel remain in Jimenez’s front yard in San Jose. It’s nothing quite like the spectacle it was before. Families in the Willow Glen neighborhood are used to seeing a yard full of holiday cheer, a Noah’s Arc Winter Wonderland theme. It’s no longer up after a thief dimmed the holiday lights.
“When I opened the shutters and I looked out and it was empty right here,” said Jimenez. “I was in shock. I couldn't believe what I was seeing.”
On Monday morning, Jimenez discovered most of her props were stolen including a horse and carriage. She believes the theft occurred sometime overnight and that there was more than one thief given the size and weight of the props.
The display did not just bring joy to the community but Jimenez’s son Chris.
“It’s just senseless,” said Jimenez. “I mean what are people going to do with these. It’s not the monetary value of course, it’s the meaning behind it.”
Last month, KTVU showed the excitement that a clown-filled Halloween display brought Chris who has developmental and physical disabilities. At age 24, he is now homebound and his health is weakening. Neighbors are outraged.
“It was so beautiful and Shelly was doing it for a beautiful reason,” said Neighbor Lila Maughan.
“I think there are things in the community we can do to try and step up to help and maybe encourage them to set up the display whether it's GoFundMe account,” said Neighbor Jake Saber.
For now, Jimenez has moved her other props to the backyard. She’s unsure if she'll have an outdoor Christmas display in her front yard this year.
“If I could have them back on my lawn I would never report you,” said Jimenez. “I just want to do this for my son.”
Neighbors are trying to restore the family's spirit, reviewing their surveillance video. One neighbor’s video camera captured a suspicious minivan near the home around 1 a.m. Neighbors are also collecting money to replace the props.
Here’s a link to the GoFundMe page: GoFundMe.com/f/lights-for-chris