Real-Life Grinch Goes Viral for Stealing Christmas Decorations

With the holiday season upon us, many people are getting in the festive spirit by decorating their homes and lawns with traditional and not-so-traditional holiday items, but for one couple in the Toronto area their holiday cheer has turned to disappointment thanks to a grinch. The couple's Minions inflatable Christmas decorations were stolen from their front lawn earlier this month and video of the heist has gone viral.

On the evening of November 14th, the Despicable Me-themed Christmas decorations were taken from the lawn of the homes of Steven Singh and fiancée Gisselle Gomez. Singh told The Sudbury Star that the decorations, which cost around $200, had been something he and Gomez had done together in part to counter the difficult year.

"It's been a tough year," Singh said. "I read an article about mental health and using Christmas as a way of engaging good thoughts."

The couple have been working opposite shifts so the decoration was a way of spending time together, with the inflatables having special meaning to the couple.

"We basically don't see each other anymore," Singh explained. "So, we put up our stuff inside on November 7th and on November 14th, we decorated the outside with garland and lights and inflatables. Me and her, we watched all the Despicable Me movies when we were dating."

The decorations weren't even up for a full day before being stolen. Singh explained that he discovered them missing the evening of the 14th when he went to shut off the Christmas lights outside.

"I said, 'Someone stole our Minions,' and she was like, 'Are you joking?'" Singh said. "I was just really in shock that someone would steal decorations. It's part of the community and I grew up in this house. My dad passed away in 2006 and my mom in 2014 and they left me that house. We renovated for 18 months and moved in last November, so this is our first real Christmas in the house."

While the decorations seemed to just vanish, the thief was actually captured on Singh's CCTV and video of the theft -- which shows an unmasked man wearing a backpack slip up and unplug the Christmas tree as well as single Minion inflatables before carrying them away. The video has since gone viral. It's not clear if the video's spread has resulted in the capture of the thief but Toronto Police Constable Caroline de Kloet told The Sudbury Star that the police are investigating the crime.

Inflatable holiday decorations have been increasing in popularity in recent years which, unfortunately, means that theft of the items has also increased, something that's spurred quite a bit of advice on the internet on how to help safeguard the often-pricy inflatables from theft. A popular method found by quick Google search is to secure the inflatable with zip ties to a permanent structure or a long tent stake into the ground. It's the zip tie method that Singh plans to use on his next inflatables. He said that his boss got the family new decorations.

"John, one of the owners, said, 'I can't believe such a loser would do something like that,'" Singh said. "He said, 'You're going to get them again.' He got us another Minion and a Snoopy. I'd like to put them up with my fiancée."

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Photo: Xinhua/Liu Yilin via Getty Images