The North Bend Eagle


Scrooge steals Santa

by Mary Le Arneal
Published 1/2/19

“Sometime between 9 p.m. on Sat., Dec. 15, and 9 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 16, a 1960s 40-inch standing lighted Santa decoration was taken from the front porch of a residence in the 700 block of Oak Street. Value $45.

'60s SantaThis 50-plus year old Santa has been taken from his home. Return would be appreciated.

“Contact Dodge County Sheriff Department, 402-652-3553 with any information.”
The above information was received from the Dodge County Sheriff’s office, but it does not tell the whole story.

The original owners of the stolen Santa were Ralph and Kathy Widhelm. It was a Christmas decoration they probably purchased in the 1960s when their family was young. When Ralph died in 2009, Gary and Robin Widhelm took the Santa in and made him part of their Christmas display.

“He’s a different looking Santa,” Robin Widhelm said. “Pencil shaped, about 4 feet tall, still has pretty good color.”

On Saturday evening Robin said they had some FFA items delivered to their front door at 8:30 p.m. and the Santa was still there. The next morning he was gone. Nothing else was taken, just the Santa. He had to be unplugged, so Robin does not think the wind took it.

She reported it to the police. She put up a “Bring back my Santa” sign and put it out on social media.

“I’ve had a lot of response on Facebook,” Widhelm said. “It’s had 85 shares and 149 comments. A lot from people I don’t know in other small towns.”

Former North Bend resident Nancy Goddard suggested that it might be in the manger scene downtown, as she has heard of that happening before. Some one suggested it might be in the phone booth.

“I drove by the manger scene, not there,” Robin said. “I drove by the phone booths. The both is not there anymore. I hadn’t noticed. But no Santa.”

Someone else said that it was probably stolen to sell or it was thrown in the ditch somewhere.

“I hope not,” Widhelm said.


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