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Grinch Steals Donations From Christmas Display

By Ron Sanders, WBZ-TV
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Donations for a local food pantry were stolen from a Christmas light display in Tewksbury. (credit: CBS)

Donations for a local food pantry were stolen from a Christmas light display in Tewksbury. (credit: CBS)

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TEWKSBURY (CBS) — After the theft of donations for a local food pantry from a Christmas display in his family’s yard on Rockvale Rd. in Tewksbury Sunday night, Mike Dascoli said he thinks desperate times are leading to desperate measures.

“I heard a noise, and I looked and I saw the well tipped over. I came running out and, sure enough, my kids were right behind saying, ‘Dad what’s the matter, what’s the matter?’ And I said, ‘I think they got it,’” explained Dascoli, estimating about $150 to $175 was stolen.

WBZ-TV’s Ron Sanders reports.

Dascoli said he thinks the thief had been “scoping out” the wishing well and struck during a short break in traffic passing the Christmas display about 9 p.m., then fled so quickly in a light blue Saturn he could not get a plate number.

“We saw the car. My kids came flying out. My son, Michael, saw the car and he screamed and yelled what kind of car it was and the cops were here very shortly. It was a matter of minutes they were here, but you know they got away with it and it’s gone,” said Dascoli, who has been putting up his elaborate Christmas display for a dozen years.

He figures that through those years he’s collected more than $10,000 for a local senior center, a recreation center and the Tewksbury Community Food Pantry.

Richard Desmond brought his two granddaughters to the colorful display as soon as the lights went on Monday. “It’s Christmastime. Why would you do something like that? I mean people are down and out. There’s no reason for it. There’s no reason at all for it,” remarked Desmond.

Dascoli said after hearing about the theft Kraft Power in Woburn donated the use of a generator for the lights as he replaced the wishing well with a bigger, more secure one.

He had a message for the thief. “Try next time. That’s all I have to say because I think the family’s up for the challenge now, so, the word’s out. Don’t do it again.”

Dascoli said he starts stringing more than 100,000 lights the day after Halloween. He said his neighbors compare him to Clark Griswold, the protagonist in the 1989 film National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

They compare the thief to the Grinch.

Dascoli’s wife Patricia estimates it costs about a $1,000 a year to light their Christmas display from November to January so the loan of the generator will dramatically cut their costs.

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