John Pazer was in his living room when out on the lawn there arose such a clatter that he sprang from his chair to see what was the matter.
By the time he threw open the back door and got out onto the lawn, someone’s sleigh had sped off with Pazer’s giant plastic Santa Claus.
“I’ve had lawnmowers stolen, tools stolen, but nothing upset me worse than this,” said Pazer, who is 69.
He was watching television about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, when his black lab, Babe, began barking at something in the yard.
When Pazer looked out the back door of his home at 8620 E. Broadway, he discovered the Santa Claus he had set out only days earlier was gone. The 5-foot Santa had been perched in its customary spot atop a rock planter in Pazer’s back yard.
Somebody went to a lot of trouble to take it, Pazer said. The base was filled with about 150 pounds of sand to keep it from blowing away.
Though the wind and snows of nearly 20 winters has chipped away at the paint on the jolly old fellow’s coat, Pazer still has quite a fondness for the decoration.
“It isn’t the value of the thing, it’s the principle of the thing,” he said. “It’s supposed to be Christmas.”
Pazer is offering a $50 cash reward for Santa’s safe return. He is also planning to post notices around the neighborhood and at nearby convenience stores, thinking that the missing decoration will stick out.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Pazer said.
Pazer was down about the heist, but kept a positive attitude. He was already formulating a plan to better protect Santa.
“If I ever get it back, I’m going to get more sand,” he said.