'I was scared that Santa couldn't see our house' Kingsport family says holiday display dimmed due to thieves

KINGSPORT, TN (WJHL)- A Kingsport homeowner is warning others that she believes there is a real-life Grinch roaming around after decorations were stolen from her front yard.

The mother of two said she woke up Sunday morning to find everything from an inflatable polar bear, to extension cord plugs...gone.

One of the items taken was a frosty the snowman decoration from the 1970's, an item that had been passed down to Jennifer Welshimer by other family members.

"It had been in my family for 30 years, it went from my grandmother to my father, and then my father gave it to me about 4 or 5 years ago," Welshimer said.

What's even more upsetting than losing something that's been in her family for decades, is how Welshimer said this has impacted her children.

Her son, Xavier, told us Monday morning that when the decorations were stolen, he was worried Santa wouldn't be able to find his house on Christmas.

"I was scared that Santa couldn't see our house, then we could not have any presents or Christmas stuff, that way we can't have a happy Christmas," Xavier said.

Welshimer had posted a video just over a week ago as soon as she put up her Christmas display, telling us it was heartbreaking that a short time later, so much of it would disappear.

"He was wondering, how is Santa going to find us, and why would somebody take our Christmas decorations, why would they do that, and that's what bothers me that somebody would be that low to take Christmas decorations," Welshimer said.

Less than 24 hours after the theft happened, a knock at the door brought good news for the Welshimer family.

A neighbor gifted them a new inflatable decoration, a Christmas bear holding a present.

"...gave us this brand new 6 foot blow up Christmas bear along with a card, you know telling us they were sorry our stuff got stolen," Welshimer said.

That gift, along with reassurance from his mother, made Xavier realize that Santa would be able to find his house this year.

"I am so happy, I just can't wait for Christmas," Xavier said.

Kingsport Police encourage people with Christmas decorations to stay alert, and if the items have great value then it might be a good idea to bring them in at night if possible.

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