THERE is currently an epidemic of grinches across the Northern Rivers who have been stealing, or attempting to pinch Christmas lights.
From Ballina to Evans Head, Alstonville, Lismore and Casino, people who are decorating their homes are falling prey to party-poopers who are just as quickly trying to steal Christmas away.
Sometimes they are successful and other times they get themselves in trouble.
Stephen Fields, of East Lismore, said he managed to stop two young girls from stealing his reindeer thanks to being a light sleeper.
"My security light went off and I heard voices," he said.
"I thought they may just be walking past but they stayed and there was a bit of giggling."
When Mr Fields ran outside he found two females in his front yard, attempting to take his reindeer decoration.
"I told them where to go and they raced to a white car. It took off so quickly one of the girls fell out," he said.
"I thought I'd have to call an ambulance but she got straight back up and ran after the car."
Luckily the reindeer was rescued, although that wasn't the case for Kayla Youngerry, of South Lismore.
One of her parents' two reindeer, the only decorations to survive Lismore's March floods, was stolen by two young girls and a male driver in a white car.
"My neighbour saw them get out of their car," she said.
"She had looked away but when she looked back she saw (the girls) running back to the car, laughing, and carrying a reindeer.
"They can't use it as they didn't take the plug."
Natasha Goodwin Cook lives at Ballina and had only just bought new spotlights to highlight Christmas decorations outside her home.
"We weren't even finished putting the display up when our neighbour caught them and chased the teenagers up the road about 1.30am," she said.
"They managed to smash (everything) on the road, including the big spotlight."
Ms Goodwin Cook said the vandalism had devastated her three young children.
"We add to (the lights collection) each year, and this year all the new stuff got damaged," she said.
Teena Mettam, of Evans Head, had bought new solar bauble lights and they were only up for a week before they disappeared.
"The other morning I got up and they weren't there anymore," she said.
"Seven years of putting Christmas lights up and I've never had a problem."
The Facebook community pages have been running hot with complaints from residents who have had their lights damaged or stolen.
Lismore police were contacted for comment but couldn't confirm they had received any reports of stolen Christmas decorations.
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