Stealing The Fun Out Of Halloween

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Today is Halloween, and while you're probably busy making last minute costume adjustments or stocking up on candy, others are prepping for the holiday in a different way.

Walking around on Halloween night, you can see a number of extravagant lawn decorations, like in-garage haunted houses and other spooky scenes. But some are stealing the fun out of decorating.

Linda Emert has been growing her collection of Halloween decorations for over twenty years. For Halloween, she shows off her spooky pieces by holding a haunted house in her garage.

"It's fun just to decorate," Emert said. "I love seeing the reactions and the faces of the people."

However, it hasn't been all fun. For the past few years, instead of having her decorations on display for the entire holiday season, she has had to resort to day-of decorating.

"There're people that tend to come and take things out of your yard, whether it's pranks or just vandalism," Emert said."

So to protect her pieces, Linda now stores all of her decorations in her garage, and then scrambles to move pieces out to the driveway and lawn on the day of Halloween.

"You just get really stressed, time-wise, trying to do everything," Emert said.

Wichita Police say that crime does tend to pick up over the Halloween season.

"Around the time from Halloween to Christmas a lot of people put out decorations which become popular for vandalism, thefts and things like that," said Lieutenant Doug Nolte. "And some of these decorations are actually pretty expensive."

Linda's priciest loss was a moving grim reaper.

"It was probably a $600 animatronic," Emert said.

To try to protect these expensive items, Linda has put up motion detectors. Some other decorators have taken it a step further, and installed security cameras.

"The problem is is that a lot of the cameras will show someone stealing something, but hard to identify actually who it is that's stealing it," Nolte said.

For Linda, storing her items has been the best solution, so the decorations will remain in her garage until later today when she can set up for the scare.

"We could have done a lot of that outside and not had to worry about taking it down the same day," Emert said.

If you do leave your decorations outside for the Halloween season, police recommend taking pictures, especially of unique pieces, so that if they are stolen police know what to look for.


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