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A New Low: Thieves Target Christmas Display

by dzoga

KMOV.com

Posted on October 27, 2009 at 8:58 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 4 at 3:24 PM

Yes, it's not even Halloween yet... but a group of retirees in the Alton area are already busy setting up some 3 million lights for the Christmas Wonderland display.

The "Grandpa Gang" is made up of about 20 volunteers that work for 11 weeks to put on the Christmas light display which raises money for charity.

Last year, the group raised $25,000 for about 44 area charities.

Over the weekend, thieves stole a total of around 3500 feet of electrical wiring that is used to power the light displays - presumably for the copper inside.

The wiring was strung in Rock Spring Park last week. Sometime overnight Friday, thieves took 2,000 feet of it.

Volunteers discovered the theft Saturday morning, called police, and filed a police report.

Monday morning, the group discovered another 1,500 feet stolen from their display.

Since word got out about the thefts, the "Grandpa Gang" has been promised a donation to help cover the cost of new wiring.

The group, however, could use help from electricians to help get their set up back on track.

Contact the Alton Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau at 618-465-6676 if you can help.

Alton Police say they are investigating the thefts, but have not made any arrests.

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