Kris Rice is the first to admit the solar lights and large Santa figurine usually scaling a ladder outside her home every Christmas didn’t cost the earth.
But the items, stolen from the front yard of her Fairy Meadow home last Friday night, were sentimentally worth their weight in gold.
Ms Rice said the goods, particularly the Santa, had been in the family for many years and were Christmas decorations cherished by her 21-year-old son Stephen, who is autistic.
‘‘He loves Christmas, putting all the lights and decorations up, so to have these things stolen is really sad,’’ she said. ‘‘He keeps going outside and asking if Santa’s come back yet. It’s really affected him, so as parents it’s really affected us as well.’’
Mrs Rice believes the items – five sets of solar lights that had been sitting on pine trees at the front of the property and the Santa figure – were stolen from the McMahon Street property sometime between 2am and 4.30am on Friday morning.
‘‘Our neighbour said he heard something around 2am and saw two boys and a girl walking off down the road but he didn’t see anything else,’’ she said.
‘‘When my husband got up to go to work at 4.30am he went outside to turn the lights off and that’s when he noticed they and the Santa were gone.’’
Mrs Rice said she had to break the news to her son that morning.
She said ever since the theft he had been having trouble sleeping and would pace back and forth near the window overlooking the front lawn.
‘‘It’s just really sad; it breaks my heart to see him like this,’’ she said, adding her son still believed in Santa.
‘‘To have someone come and do that stresses me out and makes me angry.’’
Mrs Rice described the missing Santa as a ‘‘one-of-a-kind’’, saying she had added bits to it over the years to give it a personal touch.
‘‘It’s not worth much at all but we’ve had him for years,’’ she said.
‘‘People have been really lovely in offering us more lights and Santas, but we’d really like to get the original one back if possible.’’
Mrs Rice posted news of the theft on her Facebook page last Thursday, and it was subsequently re-posted to the Mercury and i98FM Facebook pages.
The post has been shared more than 1500 times and received hundreds of ‘likes’, prompting Mrs Rice to hope some public shaming might unearth the stolen items.
She said they could be returned to her front yard on a ‘‘no questions asked’’ basis.
The theft appears to be the second in Fairy Meadow on the same night, with $500 worth of decorations stolen from Hamilton Street.