VIDEO: Thief helps himself to 8-foot inflatable Santa on family’s front porch

Tri-City News


A real-life Grinch is stealing Christmas from local families, but it’s unlikely the camouflage-hat wearing thief will be caught in time for the looming holiday.

In what looks like a scene right out of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, surveillance video (see below) taken out front of a Coquitlam home Sunday, Nov. 25, shows a man stealing an inflatable Santa.

A screen capture taken by a video surveillance camera of a man stealing an inflatable Santa out side the Kamachi home in Coquitlam on Nov. 25. It’s a mystery as to why Saint Nicholas was nicked but Dave Kamachi hopes it will be put to good use

The owner of the stolen Santa, Dave Kamachi, isn’t losing any Christmas cheer over the dastardly deed and hopes the eight-foot-tall inflatable Saint Nicholas is making other children happy at some other home.

“My best hope, which could be optimistic thinking, that rather than selling it on Craigslist for drugs, he took it home and blew it up for his own kids,” said Kamachi, who reported the crime to the Coquitlam RCMP, but doesn’t have much hope Santa will be returned.

The missing Santa leaves a gaping hole in the family’s Christmas decorations and when the children, five and two, pass by the front porch each day they notice it’s missing. Kamachi’s older daughter is especially distraught.

“She says it doesn’t look the same without that Santa.”

How the Santa was stolen is particularly disturbing because it wasn’t very late at night — only about 11:30 p.m. — and the surveillance video shows the man took his time with the theft, unplugging the Santa and waiting for it to deflate before stuffing it into a sack.

The theft took several minutes and it appears the man ducked out of sight when a car went by. Still, Kamachi thinks it was pretty brazen.

“If it’s a kid, when the motion sensor triggers, they would run away. Not this guy. He was not concerned.”

Indeed, the video shows the man stealing the Santa while a bright light shone down on him, although he may not have realized his actions were permanently captured on video and are now on for all to see.

Kamachi plans to purchase another Santa, but it will be smaller and likely put on the second level so it’s out of reach for all, except for a determined thief who brings his own ladder.

“It’s sad,” he said. “It shows we are trying to avoid another theft.”