Christmas restored for theft victim

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SAN DIEGO – A real life Grinch stole a local woman’s Christmas decorations earlier this week. But with the help of the community, her driveway and spirits were restored with Christmas joy.

Holiday lightsFor the last decade, Gina Dobbins has been Decking the halls and her driveway with Christmas pizzaz. But it almost didn’t happen this year.

“Monday morning, I discovered that many of my decorations had been stolen,” said Dobbins.

She is a mega-Christmas decorator. Her house on the 7000 block of Hillsboro Street in Allied Gardens always has spectators from around town. Her work has been recognized by local magazines as the #1 spot to visit during the holidays. But when half of her decorations, totaling more than $1000, disappeared she felt lost.

“I was disappointed for the children who love this every year, and then I was in a state of shock,” said Dobbins. “I had no idea what I was going to do.”

But the neighbors knew exactly what to do. It was their turn to create a Christmas miracle for Dobbins.

“I was just appalled, I mean, who does that?” said neighbor, Chris Walsh.

Walsh had never met Dobbins before he saw her story on the news. But he immediately started calling local businesses to gain support. In three days, he managed to get the community to restore Christmas on Hillsboro Street. Some of the largest contributors were the local Home Depot, Lowes, and Toyota dealers.

Even her local councilman also got involved. For Councilman, Scott Sherman of District 7, the story hit home. Sherman is known in his community and constituents for being a Halloween decorator, who opens his house to the public annually as a haunted mansion.

“Thieves are bad enough. But to have somebody steal Christmas is a whole different thing,” said Sherman. “If my Halloween decorations suddenly disappeared, that’s something I cannot ignore.”

Sherman and his team managed to order a blow up carousel from Orange County, and donated it to Dobbins.

Now that her home is shining brighter than ever before, Dobbins is determined not to let any thieves bring their bah-humbug spirit.

“I definitely think I need a security camera,” said Dobbins. “There’s always going to be a Scruge, there’s always going to be a Grinch. But it didn’t stop my motivation.”

Dobbins will continue to have her Christmas lights on through New Years.