THE Claus are out for the thief who stole Santa and ruined the spirit of Christmas for one Emerald family.
On Monday, Helen Gersbach, her husband and two children spent the afternoon putting the final touches to their Haswell St Christmas lights display.
It was the first time in a bittersweet five years the Gersbachs had publicly celebrated the festive season, after losing their 14-year-old daughter Emily to a seizure on December 20, 2006.
"I walked out on Tuesday morning and couldn't believe it because it was a Santa we had stolen five years ago too, on the very night our daughter passed away," Helen said.
"Every Christmas is a hard time for us and only this year we were reflecting on the time since she's gone and we try not to live in the past because we do need to make Christmas joyous for the kids we have got.
"This year I said let's put the lights back out, get the Christmas cheer again and this is what has happened.
"You just have to wonder. It's Christmas and they would know people who put up Christmas lights would have children."
Helen has refused to take down the other decorations that festoon her family's front yard.
She won't be beaten by the thoughtless act of "someone with no morals".
But she admitted her children, aged five and 10, were left disbelieving and heartbroken by the theft.
"To the person who has done this, I ask you - where is your Christmas spirit and how do you sleep at night knowing you have stolen from little children?"
Santa's theft was reported to police yesterday.
He is a 2.03m tall blow-up arch dressed in red, and he wasn't purchased locally.
"To everyone who is reading this please, if you know of anyone going into people's homes and yards and taking what is not theirs, call the police," Helen pleaded.
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