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'It's just rude and mean': Holiday vandals stab, kick Christmas inflatables in Gilbert neighborhood

Two neighborhoods near Gilbert and Ray Roads, and Germann Road and Val Vista Drive were targeted.

GILBERT, Ariz. — A real-life grinch has targeted Christmas decorations in Gilbert and left inflatables stabbed and destroyed this week.

From November 25 to November 30, four people made criminal damage reports to Gilbert police regarding their holiday decorations near Gilbert and Ray roads, the department said.

Sandeep Rajamani’s 8-foot-tall snowman was also targeted and stabbed at least eight times. He lives near Germann Road and Val Vista Drive.

“I’m sure that it was done purposely. It was not an accidental thing,” he said.

Rajamani was one of a couple of homeowners who spoke to 12News that had not yet filed a police report. His neighbor from one street over, Michelle Nakamura did call authorities and even caught the inflatable attack on surveillance video.

The video shows a truck pull up in front of her home on Sunday around 9 p.m. The passenger gets off and walks around the vehicle to a Christmas inflatable and attacks it, destroying it.

Credit: Surveillance video

“It was just anger. There was no reason for it,” Nakamura said. “The not understanding why it happened is the biggest issue we have. If it was stolen and someone needed it and couldn’t afford one, we’d understand that, but the destruction of it, the not knowing why is probably the most frustrating.”

Nakamura’s inflatable was a Santa Claus onboard a helicopter that her family had had for about ten years. She bought it when her oldest son, now 19, was a toddler and dreamed of becoming a pilot.

“Now that he’s a pilot, it means a lot to him,” Nakamura said. “He came home, saw the video, and he was quite upset.”

Police said officers investigated the incidents and reviewed surveillance video provided to them but were not able to get license plate information or details about the people involved.

“These cases were listed as inactive pending additional physical evidence,” the department said in a statement.

Nakamura’s 10-year-old son Kyle said the people who are doing this “should know better.”

“They shouldn’t have done that, like I don’t know why,” Kyle said. “They destroyed someone’s property, and they think it’s funny and cool, but it’s not. It’s just rude and mean.”

Anyone with information regarding these cases is asked to call the police.

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