‘Obviously Santa didn’t stop here’: Thieves target holiday decorations in Southeast Travis County

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Thieves targeted at least five homes in the new southeast Travis County neighborhood Easton Park Sunday night into Monday morning, taking holiday decorations and stealing from cars.

At least four different surveillance videos captured what appears to be a group of four people roaming through the neighborhood between just before midnight Sunday and 2 a.m. Monday.

Two of the cameras capture the four people walking along the road.

A third showed a man approaching a front door, and walking away with a small Christmas tree and Christmas themed sign.

“It’s a Santa please stop here sign, obviously Santa didn’t stop here,” said homeowner Michael Rohde.

The fourth surveillance camera recorded two people approaching cars parked in a driveway. When one of them realizes a truck is unlocked, the two start going through it.

Jonathan Warren said his pilot’s headset was stolen out of his truck. He paid about $1,000 for it.

“I guess you could have a market for it right now being the holidays, but it’s just out of the norm,” he said.

Other neighbors had an inflatable minion stolen and decorations damaged.

Most of the neighbors impacted said they’ve filed reports with the Travis County Sheriff’s Department.

If the thieves are caught, the severity of a theft charge corresponds with the value of the stolen items.

The Texas Penal Code lists a “Class C” misdemeanor as a crime committed when the value of the stolen property is less than $100. There isn’t jail time, but you can face a fine of up to $500.

A “Class B” misdemeanor is when the property is valued at more than $100 but less than $750. Jail time is possible, as is a fine up to $2,000.

A “Class A” charge means someone stole something worth $750 to $2,5000.

Anything worth more makes it a felony.

“We’re trying to build a little charm in this new development, but it kind of squashes everyone,” Rohde said.

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