A Spring Valley family is reconsidering how they’ll decorate their yard for the holiday season after a thief ran off with the “It” clown they had staged in their front yard for Halloween.
Tina Davis has lived in her Spring Valley home with her daughter and grandchildren for over a year. They love to get creative and decorate their entire yard and porch for the big holidays.
This year, the Davis family chose to get creative with their unique driveway situation. It has a couple drainage pipes that run underneath it and they thought the movie “It” would be the perfect theme. They even bought a life-size clown to bring the scene to life.
"As a family we decided to go with the “It” theme because in the movie, which I have not seen but my daughter and her husband and kids have seen it, there are pipes where the clown would hide inside and a little boy wearing a yellow jacket would be in it and hold a red balloon," Davis said.
The clown plugged into the wall on the Davis’ porch and talked and lit up. Davis said it cost around $200.
“He is taller than me, and he didn't break down and bend all that well. They literally walked out holding him this way, a whole life-sized person,” Davis said.
The family also decorated the pipes with caution tape and even put a yellow jacket hanging on a fence near the pipes.
"We were going to put the balloons out closer to Halloween," explained Davis. "The whole concept was perfect until they stole him.”
Someone stole the clown Thursday morning between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m., according to Davis. She knows because her son-in-law left for work at 4 a.m. and her daughter left the house at 7 a.m.
"The clown was there at 4 a.m. but gone by the time my daughter was leaving," said Davis. "It’s disheartening, it really is. In this day and age, people don’t want to decorate any more. There are several that say that’s why we don’t put up our stuff, that’s why we don’t go and buy decorations anymore."
Across town in north Pacific Beach, the Larson family has been building a haunted trail in their front yard for decades. Jonnie Sue Larson is the third generation to do it and she wants her kids, who are in their 20s, to start learning the Halloween tradition.
Larson said she’s experienced theft of decorations before, and says her family had to learn the hard way. Now they keep their decorations inside until Halloween day.
"Lesson learned... the Halloween decorations outside the house are either mounted to the house or extremely heavy," said Larson. "It’s kind of a bummer that somebody would want to take the joy from the kids."
Larson said the items she’s had stolen were mostly stuff outside that they do not value as much as the expensive and special decorations they display in their haunted trail.
"It's nostalgic for me,” Davis said of certain decorations that have been in her family for decades. “Nobody else but me knows what it means to me because it represents something."
The San Diego Police Department said holiday decoration thefts are nearly impossible to stop because they take seconds to execute and no clues are left behind. Even with surveillance cameras and cameras in doorbells it's difficult because photographs or video don't always help positively identify people.
The best advice is for people to put their expensive or special decorations outside on Halloween, and when it's over, put them back into storage for next year.
"It's all for the kids, our grandbabies," said Davis, as she showed us the box the “It” clown came in. "Now we will have to think again about how we decorate for Christmas. Last year we had Christmas decorations all over the lawn."