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Not-so-happy Halloween

Published: Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017 9:42 a.m. CST • Updated: Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017 10:21 a.m. CST
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(Jamee A. Pierson/Daily News)
Julie Little’s yard bears no Halloween decorations following a burglary at her home of several holiday figurines. Little, who typically goes all out on Halloween decoration during the holiday season, said she won’t put anything out unless the items that were taken are returned.

For more than 15 years, Julie Little has shared her love of Halloween through a growing display of decorations in her yard. From ghosts hanging in the trees, tombstones decorating the grass and skeletons daring guests to look further, Little loves bringing the spooky to life for a few weeks in October at her home on South 20th Avenue West.

It’s because of the enthusiasm she has for the holiday that Little was so disappointed when numerous items in her display were stolen from out of her yard. A little more than a week ago, Little awoke to find two, five-foot skeletons, a three-foot skeleton dog, a light-up skull and two decorated cross tombstones were missing from her yard.

“It has ruined our Halloween spirit for the season,” Little said. “The item I’m most upset about is the six-foot animated butler that stood in our entryway. We feel very violated that someone would come right up to our front door to take items.”

Since the burglary, Little has taken down the remainder of her display items, at the same time considered adding an alarm system to her home. A police report was filed in case the items were found by Newton police, but she doesn’t want to press charges against the thieves. She really just wants the items returned.

“We had heard about break-ins and cars being gone through social media sites but didn’t really understand the reality of it until it happened to us,” Little said. “We have decided that we won’t decorate next Halloween unless we get lucky and the items are returned or found. There are others ways we can spend the money it would take to replace the items.”

Little said to date she hasn’t received any response to her reward efforts to have the items returned or any information about who may have taken them. She is thankful for her neighbors who have stopped by or sent messages relaying their concerns and sharing how upset they are for her.

“The citizens of Newton need to continue to report suspicious behavior and information to authorities,” Little said. “It has become all of our responsibility to protect our town, our property, as well as our neighbors.

One of her neighbors, Doug Cupples, shared his disappointment with the burglary after having enjoyed her displays for the past few years.

“I felt like Halloween was over after she took the rest of her stuff down,” Cupples said. “We love Julie and she is a great neighbor and there is no reason for someone to do that.”

For now, Little will restrict her decorating to indoors only, where she also has a vast collection of Halloween tricks and treats. Maybe in time, Little will take steps to share her creative Halloween spirit again but for now, her house will remain bare.

“There are some really good residents in Newton, despite the many grumblings about how bad the town has become,” Little said. “Unfortunately there will always be people who choose to make their living stealing from hard-working people.”

Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or jpierson@newtondailynews.com

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