Vandals puncture Christmas blow-up decorations in Whittier

WHITTIER, Calif. (KABC) -- The Christmas spirit took over an east Whittier neighborhood as decorations adorn almost every house. But beware, there's a Grinch on the loose.

"She saw two young individuals stabbing the three Christmas blow-ups that we had setup in front of the house, so my automatic reaction was to look outside. At that point in time, they were already gone, jumped in a mid-size SUV and took off," said Brent Russell, whose home was vandalized.

Three Christmas blow-up characters, including Snoopy, were punctured and are no longer useable. Russell and his family had just set up their front yard, a yearly tradition that both his 5 and 8-year-old kids look forward to.

"The kids were definitely a little bit traumatized, which was the biggest deal to me. The blow-ups are monetary items - they really don't matter to me because they can be replaced. But my kids feelings that night were pretty messed up," Russell said.

The L.A. County Sheriff's Department told Eyewitness News they're looking for three suspects in their late teens who were in an older model Toyota 4-Runner. The vandals reportedly hit three other homes in the neighborhood Friday night.

"We have a lot of blow-ups and a lot of neighborhood decorations. I heard on this neighborhood watch that kids are going around and slicing these blow-ups. What a pain in the neck. It's really a shame," said Richard Newell, who has lived in the neighborhood for almost 50 years.

Residents said they hope the vandals will be caught and stopped before more homes are targeted during the month of December.
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