Jospehine Michetti loves to decorate her Philadelphia home for the holidays, much to the delight of her grandsons. She pulls out all the stops with mini-trees, Santa figures and handmade garland, light-up gifts and candies.
Michetti, 65, had the house all ready a few days before Thanksgiving when her grandsons would be visiting from Allentown, Penn., but she awoke on Nov. 26 to find that something was amiss.
The previous night, Michetti said, she had tightened the wires holding the decorations in place since there was supposed to be a storm. Her daughter-in-law, who lives across the street, noticed that the Santas were missing the next day and asked her if she had taken them down before the storm. She hadn’t.
Surveillance footage from Michetti’s son’s house across the street, released by the Philadelphia Police Department, showed a woman approaching the house around 2:15 a.m., unplugging a Santa and taking him away.
About an hour later, the same female suspect returned with a man and they cut away the second Santa at the top of the steps and stole him. The woman even fixed the mini-tree she had knocked over while stealing the first Santa earlier.
“They went right to my top step, and he had a knife and cut the wire,” Michetti told ABCNews.com today. “That’s scary, thinking you’re in bed and someone is on your steps doing this. It made me feel terrible.”
Michetti has lived in her home for 40 years and has never had anything stolen. She added a few more decorations to replace the Santas, but has been afraid that thieves will return.
“If they come back and take anything else, I’m going to take things down because I’m wasting my money buying all this stuff,” she said. “It’s sad. I love doing it.”
But the theft has led to at least one act of kindness. Today, Michetti received a special delivery from Kindy’s, a Christmas store in Philadelphia.
“They just came and brought me a bunch of boxes, all Christmas decorations,” she said. “I can’t believe it. They knew [the thieves] stole my Santas and they came and brought me new Santas. I thought it was so nice of them.”
Philadelphia police are asking that anyone with information on the suspects please call 215-686-8477 or use their electronic form to submit an anonymous tip.