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Image courtesy of Renea Gargiulo
Image courtesy of Renea Gargiulo
A man caught on camera stealing a Dyker Heights holiday display.

A neighborhood Grinch has just had his spot blown up.

A Dyker Heights resident captured surveillance footage of an unknown thief lurking in his family’s front yard and eventually walking off with a huge holiday blow-up decoration.

The incident occurred at around 5:45 p.m. on Tuesday, November 29, outside of a home near Bay Ridge and Fort Hamilton Parkways.

“[It was] stolen right off my property,” the resident, Anthony P., told this paper. “I went to pick up my daughter from dance class and, when we got home, my daughter got out of the car and said, ‘Daddy, Santa Claus is gone.’

“The whole thing; wires, everything,” he went on. “Everything that was a part of that Santa Claus was gone.”

His first step, he said, was securing his next-door neighbor’s surveillance footage.

“That’s when I contacted the police,” he said, noting that officers from the 68th Precinct came to the residence. “But, usually stuff like this gets overlooked.”

After processing the shock, Anthony said, his thoughts turned to his neighbors.

“I have neighbors that spend thousands and thousands of dollars on decorations and statues that move,” he said. “Who’s to say that this won’t happen to them?”

The theft comes shortly after most of the neighborhood — known for its larger-than-life holiday lights and displays — decked its halls over Thanksgiving weekend.

“It’s disgraceful that anyone would choose to zone in on this wonderful community, for all that it traditionally contributes and represents at this time of the year, and use it as an opportunity to take away from the beautiful displays that are a huge part of creating this happy experience for all,” said Dyker Heights resident and founder of the official Dyker Heights Christmas Lights Facebook page Renea Gargiulo. “It takes a lot of nerve.”

According to Gargiulo, the robbery is part of an “ongoing issue” in Dyker Heights.

“The residents of the community are some of the most generous people around, in heart and spirit, and it’s unacceptable that this is happening,” she said. “It’s become more of an ongoing issue than most are aware of and it would be ideal to get as much support as possible through community watch efforts and creating awareness hopefully to put an end to this heartless form of thievery once and for all.”

Both the homeowner and Gargiulo are optimistic that, thanks to the surveillance footage, future Scrooges will think twice before stealing any more decorations.

“What are you supposed to do?,” asked Anthony. “I had it tied down as best as I could. What am I supposed to do, buy anchors and chain link it to my fence?”


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