Vandals slice up holiday displays

The Grinch, armed with something sharp, was busy sneeking into Kennewick yards Monday night.

He visited JR and Heather Vogtman, slicing about $300 in inflatable holiday decorations in their Kennewick yard.

The Vogtmans, who live at 20 W. 19th Ave., said the rest of their display -- hundreds and hundreds of lights set to blink and fade in and out in time to music -- escaped damage.

This is the second time their display has been vandalized this year, Vogtman said. The first time happened several weeks ago, "even before I could even get everything set up and turned on," he said.

"And now this," Vogtman said, adding that he plans to take his display down for the season. His father-in-law, Lowell Fuher of Kennewick, who also has a large display of holiday lights set to music, began packing his away Tuesday.

Becky Welch also had her family's decorations slashed Monday night by someone with a bah-humbug spirit, but she's not letting Scrooge win.

Three of her four blow-up decorations -- Santa and a Christmas tree which both stand about 8 to 10 feet tall and a Tony Stewart race car with three snowmen -- nearly were cut to shreds, she said.

"I brought each one of them in the house and (patched them) up one by one with a big roll of duct tape and they're all blown up again," Welch said. "There's a lot of duct tape on them and they're really silly, but it's just the principle of the thing. Whoever did it, I want them to see."

Her children, ages 10 and 12, helped tape up the decorations.

"We do it for the kids," she said. "It's just really hard to explain to your kids how people do things like this."

A fourth blow-up decoration of a Nativity scene was unharmed both Monday night and Christmas night, when the other three were first damaged in the yard of her East 19th Avenue home

Both Vogtman and Welch reported the incident to Kennewick police. No one else in her neighborhood had any similar problems, Welch said.