Christmas crime in Va. Beach leads to true meaning of the season

Destroyed and deflated, but not defeated

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- Virginia Beach residents may be deflated but they are not defeated following a spree of vandalism Wednesday night.

At least five homes on or near Aquamarine Drive had their inflatable holiday decorations sliced open.

On Friday people began showing up wanting to donate new decorations.

 “Out of the crime came angels, and that’s what I consider them, angels that came to us,” said Marilyn Watt, one of the victims.

Katie Shanks and her daughter Emily heard about the vandalism on 13News Now.

 “She recognized a classmate and it really tugged at her heart strings and she said, ‘mommy we have to do something,’” said Katie Shanks.

Katie and Emily went out and purchased a 10-foot-tall Christmas tree, a nine-foot-tall Mickey Mouse, and a jolly Old Saint Nick.

“Giving is one of the most important parts of Christmas, just make Christmas cheer and people happy,” said Emily Shanks.

The generosity didn't stop there. More strangers began calling or just showing up, eager to pump Christmas back into strangers front yards.

 “It seemed like a Christmas miracle happened,” said Ritchie Watt.

Ritchie decided to pay it forward and pass along some of these holiday inflatables to a neighbor who was also vandalized.

Dawn Johnson was all smiles to receive a new Santa. Her emotions were strong when someone climbed onto the roof and stabbed her Santa in the back of the head.

 “Out of all the negative, everyone has come together to help each other out, to bring a little more positive cheer back into the neighborhood,” said Johnson.

According to neighbors, police may have caught those involved. 13News Now reached out to Virginia Beach police and they were unable to confirm.

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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