Thieves ransack Calif. family's outdoor Christmas decorations

CBS Los Angeles
CBS Los Angeles

(CBS) MORENO VALLEY, Calif. - A California family was shocked and saddened when they woke up Tuesday to find their Christmas decorations had been stolen.

CBS Los Angeles reports that the Rudd family found their decorative display ransacked Monday night and the most expensive items stolen.

The family guesses the thieves came sometime between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. and took many of their decorations.

Their Christmas spirit didn't come cheap; the decorations cost $1,600.

Sandra Rudd said the thieves "brought tears to my eyes because we put a lot of work and a lot of heart into it."

"I'm just a middle class man trying to make people smile, put a smile on people's faces, and they take it away from me," said Ken Rudd.

Putting up the decorations has been a family tradition for the Rudds, who said they were too poor to enjoy doing it in their own childhoods. Sandra said she used to watch other families put up decorations, and that makes the decorating even more worthwhile now.

The family loves watching passerbys enjoy their nightly Christmas light show.

"They stop, they take their family photos in front of our house, they actually physically sit out on the curbs and watch me build stuff and put it up and hang it," said Ken Rudd.

The family has locked up the decorations that are left, and filed a police report Tuesday. The Rudds say they will put the decorations back on the yard, but not before installing a security alarm and a camera on the roof.