Reward offered after holiday decorations trashed


Danbury, Texas, is a place of old-fashioned traditions and values, and what happened at a park there has enough people upset that they're putting money on the table to find the person responsible.

Familiar symbols of the season have become unlikely crime scene photos -- candy canes tossed atop a gazebo, a broken gingerbread man, and discovered in a public restroom, Garfield standing atop a decapitated Odie. It was a prank perhaps, but to those who labor on Danbury's annual Christmas in the Park display, it's more than that

"I think the thing that makes me the most is sad, that these people felt the need to do whatever it is they did," said Danbury City Council member George Phillips.

The vandalism happened late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning. Some displays have been repaired, but others were destroyed -- including the centerpiece -- Santa's sleigh.

"You could sit in it and take pictures of your family and they tore that apart," said Danbury City Council member Sue Mercado. "(It ended up) on top of the playground equipment over there."

The display is a 30 year tradition in this town of 1,600 residents and never before has there been such an act of vandalism. That may be why a $500 reward has been donated to solve the case. It stunned the police chief.

"For the community to automatically offer reward money for the conviction of whoever did this damage is overwhelming to us," said Danbury Police Chief Myles Hopkins. "That's a tremendous tool for us to use."

Police are hoping for the phones to start ringing with information about who is responsible.

Despite the damages, Santa will still make arrival at the park on Saturday afternoon. The festivities will continue as planned.

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