Local News

Grinch steals decorations from college in Rocky Mount

Posted December 17, 2009 4:48 p.m. EST
Updated December 18, 2009 6:25 a.m. EST

— Police continued to search Thursday for the real-life Grinch who took inflatable Christmas decorations, valued at $3,200, from North Carolina Wesleyan College's campus in Rocky Mount.

According to campus security, someone removed 27 inflatable Christmas yard decorations from the campus at about 2 a.m. on Dec. 8.

"We were devastated. We were angry. We were embarrassed that we had this happen," Wesleyan College President Jim Gray said.

The stolen decorations were among more than 100 inflatable items loaned to the college by a Rocky Mount woman battling cancer.

The woman’s family had displayed the decorations at their family home for years. After she became ill, she contacted the school about continuing the tradition this year, college officials said.

Gray said thousands of people have already viewed the decorations.

Rocky Mount police said the theft is considered a felony because the goods are worth more than $3,000.

The college is offering a $1,500 reward for information leading to the return of the decorations.

"This didn't appear to be a student prank. Twenty-seven inflatables, and they were folded and unplugged very methodically. Somebody had a truck," Gray said.

A local business has donated several replacements to keep the display going.