Christmas Grinch strikes Delacombe mum of five

A DELCOMBE mum of five who sold surplus furniture and unwanted school books to pay for Christmas decorations has been left reeling after her outdoor festive display was stolen overnight.

Tamii Stapleton has described as “low-lifes” the people who stole two giant blow-up Santas and eight large candy canes from underneath her nose early yesterday morning.

Ms Stapleton, a single mum of five boys, said she was devastated by the theft and would find it hard to save for new decorations.

“I can only call these people low-lifes. It’s a really low act to steal from someone, particularly at Christmas time.

“Christmas is about giving not taking,” said Ms Stapleton, who described herself as a very festive person.

In previous years, Ms Stapleton and her family had been unable to afford decorating the outside of their home. She bought the $200 decorations after selling unwanted furniture and school books.

“Each year the kids and I would drive around Ballarat looking at the Christmas lights and each year the boys would ask if we could decorate our house. Being a single mum of five, I couldn’t afford it. So, this year I decided to sell things to pay for the decorations,” Ms Stapleton said.

“We were very proud of our decorations. They weren’t as good (as other houses), but they were ours.”

Ms Stapleton believes the decorations were stolen about 5.30am yesterday from under her bedroom window. “I was woken about 5.30am after hearing a rustling noise from outside, but I thought it was the neighbourhood cat trying to get into my backyard again.”

The theft was discovered about 8am yesterday by Ms Stapleton’s 12-year-old son, Kalan, after he was asked to turn up the inflation pumps on the blow-up Santas.

The theft was the second blow for the dedicated mum, after last Friday night’s freak hail storm damaged part of her outdoor Christmas decoration display.

“We were going to replace the decorations damaged in the storm this weekend,” she said.

The theft has been reported to police. Anyone with information can telephone Ballarat police on 5336 6000.