Skip to content

Real-life ‘Grinch’ accused of stealing decorations in Azilda

Homeowner caught the woman trying to steal lit holiday vases; another homeowner had security video of suspect making off with an inflatable Santa Claus

Greater Sudbury Police arrested a real-life Grinch in Azilda on Nov. 27 in relation to the theft of outdoor Christmas decorations.

Police sent out a press release about the incident entitled “The Grinch Who Tried to Steal Christmas,” referring to the Dr. Suess book about the grouchy, solitary creature who tries to cancel Christmas by stealing Christmas gifts and decorations from the homes of the nearby town of Whoville on Christmas Eve.

At around 9 p.m. that evening, officers were called out to a residential area in Azilda in response to what had appeared to be a theft in progress.

A witness said that around 8:47 p.m., a woman was observed parking her vehicle in the driveway of a Poulin Street home, then proceeded to exit the vehicle, walk up the driveway and unplug two lit, decorative holiday vases located on the property. 

The witness also observed numerous additional holiday decorations in the possession of the woman, including an inflatable Santa Claus on a motorcycle. 

The witness approached the woman and began questioning her, resulting in the woman leaving the items behind and fleeing the area prior to police arrival.

As police were investigating this incident, the owner of the inflatable Santa Claus attended the area to report that their decoration had been stolen from their front yard on Aldege Street around 8:22 p.m. that same evening, and that the incident had been captured on video surveillance.

Based on a description of the suspect’s vehicle, as well as the video surveillance, officers were able to identify the suspect and proceeded to her home. 

At 10:20 p.m., the 44-year old woman was arrested and charged without incident with theft under $5,000 and posession of property obtained by crime.

The woman’s name cannot be released as the information has not yet been sworn to through the court process.

She was released on an appearance notice with a scheduled court date of Feb. 1, 2023 to answer to the charges.

Police issued the following reminders to community members.

“Video surveillance is the single most important thing a homeowner or business can have to protect their property. A high-quality video system that is activated and in good working order will assist officers in identifying those responsible for theft. Always ensure the lens is clean and the camera is pointing in the proper direction,” GSPS said.

“Most crimes are committed by the same people over and over. Police have identified many criminals by way of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV). Advertising that your home or business is under surveillance by way of window stickers or signs will deter crime.”

If you see anyone in your neighbourhood who appears to be engaging in suspicious or criminal activity, do not hesitate to call the Greater Sudbury Police Service 705-675-9171. In the case of an emergency, including a crime in progress, call 911. Provide as much detail as possible including: physical and clothing descriptors; vehicle descriptors (if applicable) including licence plate number, make, model and colour of vehicle and direction of travel; time and location and any other details possible

To report a theft after the fact, use the GSPS online reporting system.