Family Heartbroken After Thieves Ransack Their Outdoor Christmas Decorations

MORENO VALLEY (CBS) — We haven’t even passed Thanksgiving and the grinches are already out!

The Rudd family was shocked to find that thieves had ransacked their outdoor Christmas decorations Monday night, stealing most of the expensive setup they had just put up.

The family said sometime last night between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. thieves came and took a portion of their decorations.

“They brought tears to my eyes because we put a lot of work and a lot of heart into it,” said Sandra Rudd.

The family spent a hefty penny on these decorations too — $1,600 in total.

“I’m just a middle class man trying to make people smile, put a smile on people’s faces, and they take it away from me,” said Ken Rudd.

It’s something the two parents didn’t get to enjoy much in their own childhoods, which makes it even more worthwhile to them.

“We actually grew up really poor and I remember being a kid and watching other families put up Christmas decorations,” said Sandra.

Now putting up decorations together has become a Rudd family tradition. Young Nathan enjoys fixing up the yard just as much as his mom and dad.

“I get home from work about 5 o’clock and I’m out working on it until 11:30, 12 o’clock at night,” said Ken.

The reward is the satisfaction they get watching passersby enjoy their nightly Christmas light show.

“They stop, they take their family photos in front of our hosue, they actually physically sit out on the curbs and watch me build stuff and put it up and hang it,” said Ken.

There are still some decorations left over, but the family now has them locked up in their garage after filing a police report on Tuesday morning. They’ll be placed back out on the yard, but this time with a security alarm and a camera on the roof.

christmas decorations stolen4 Family Heartbroken After Thieves Ransack Their Outdoor Christmas Decorations

(credit: CBS)

The Rudds also said they will follow through on their plan to put a collection box for the needy. The box will be placed outside starting Friday to gather canned and boxed food donations for those in need through their church.

  • Pam Hernandez

    I don’t think waiting a week & a half would stop the thieves and maybe they put them up early because they have alot of decorations to put up.

  • Anthony Perlingos

    Just more proof of what we already know. That as a society nationwide we are bankrupt and I do not mean just fiscally.

    • Jolynn

      you are sooo right…….bankrupt in MORALS………and Holiday spirit and love for ones neighbors………my grampa would say “this world is going to hell in a hand basket”

      • Ohio

        Comedian and newy elected Mayor of Hillsboro, Ohio, Drew hastings, on Jay Leno last week, said the sadder part of going to hell in a hand basket, is that we are not even making Hand Baskets in the US any more..

        Then you have a man who owns a compay in Ga, has signs oup around town statinghe will nothire any one new until Obama is out of office.. , now these jerks stealing Christmas stuff from a home! Oh well. Could be worse, we could have 9 % unemployment and a debt of 14 trillion..

        WHAT WE Do. OH No head for the hills..

      • Elvis

        So right. Pray to god for this broken country, it needs help real bad. I can’t believe what the liberal hippies have done to this once great nation.

    • Lily

      Thank is why we never put up decorations anymore. At least outside.

    • Mikey

      That flat tire is PROOF that your car is falling apart!

      I mean really? You’re holding up “some jerk stole someone’s Christmas decorations” as the torchbearer for the complete collapse of society and morals?

      • LaVonte d'Ashawn Jackson IV

        Mikey, you are a typical liberal, incapable of distinguishing right from wrong. Yes, it is a clear-cut example of the moral bankruptcy of America’s irresponsible, lazy, non-productive entitlement crowd. These people are the backbone of the democrat party and get the full support of your hero, Hussein Obama and his communist America-hating protest crowd. I understand you are genetically predisposed to shrugging your shoulders at that kind of behavior, but the ones of us who love this country and provide you with handouts are disgusted by you and the human lice the left has become. That stealing Christmas decorations from these hard working, successful people doesn’t bother you is proof you are one of them.

      • jslab129

        Mikey is obviously about 15 years old.

      • Coxm11

        It just the straw that broke the camels back sort of thing.

      • Glenn

        Mikey you are a fool. Take a look around at the lack of common respect for our fellow man that has swept over our nation. Take a look at the videos children post on-line of hitting the old and special needs upside the head because it is funny to them. The punks who stole these folks decorations are a symptom of a sickness that has to be dealt with. As a civil society we have to take back our nation and get back to that which made us a grerat nation.

        I pity people like you have eyes but do not see and have ears but do not listen.

      • redhog

        OPEN your eyes mikey………

      • JonInVa

        The inability to even remotely empathize with or understand why this particular story serves as a microcosm of all that is wrong with our country, is exactly what is wrong with this country.

      • John C

        When there’s a pattern, there’s a problem.

      • smokehouse56

        This just proves one thing. Mikey is a liberal hater.

    • Cindy Kaczmarski

      So sorry for you yuor Son broke my heart when he said “they took my Minnie Mouse” IFor those heartless fools that said you “shouldnt have christmas decrations up before xmas” shame on you… you are saying it’s ok to steal. It takes a lot of time to get ready and when working you do what you can do when you can do it !!! I’m all about selebrating Thanksgiving first it is one of my favorite Holidays football ,Famly and food but that doesnt making stealing right. We have always starting putting our decorations up before but never turned them on till the day after Thanksgiving. I’m sorry for your saddness and loss !!

  • Leeta

    Ashley, they were planning a food drive. What difference would a week make anyway. Get a clue.

  • Beez

    Ashley, why do you care? Does that make the theft A-OK?

  • poooooo

    California Again. So glad I left that filthy gang and criminal infested state.

    Oh and Erick Scott was not targeted He was shot because he was HIGH AS A KITE on drugs shopping at costco with a loaded weapon. I am not anti gun, and have a CCW Myself.. but you dont do drugs and carry guns

    • Mark

      … and you don’t put up Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving… comprende, senior?

      • Scott

        Right, because as everyone knows, if you put up decorations before Thanksgiving, people have a right to steal your property as punishment. Moron.

      • rocco

        Mark are you as big an idiot as you sound.

      • proudnot2bliberal

        Mark did you parents drop you on your head or are you naturally that stupid?

    • Steve Hollar

      Good for you. I’ve lived here all my 62 years and will be following you out. This state is dead. I think what has been proposed, to split it in two, one part conservative, one liberal, is a great idea. If that were done, I happen to be in one of the conservative counties and would consider staying. If not, the liberals can have this place as it sinks further into the sewer.

      • Suzie

        California is on the brink of self destruction. The morels of the Hollywood trash make it easy for people to think that they can do as they please, “stealing Christmas decorations” really…………… I was born and raised in San Diego. I moved out of the cesspool in the late 70’s. It has gone to “hell in a hand basket”. I miss the ocean, but you couldn’t get me to return and live in a State that has so many languages that you need someone to interpret for you because you are the minority “English speaking”. Love the Midwest county, clean etc. God Bless the rest of our beautiful Country.

      • Lr

        I wish this country would be split in two, conservative and progressive and each side have their own “president” etc…. Would be great and everyone from both sides can just shut up!!!!!

    • asdf

      I live in California and my town is great… I love the people. The crime isn’t so bad here. Perhaps before generalizing everyone you should realize that there are multiple places within California with differnt crime levels? LA, SF and Hollywood are not California, only a small part.

      • nicademus

        Where you live at asdf?

  • Fred

    Thank goodness the NSA is too stupid to filter these blogs, then!

    • TD

      I rarely type “lol.” But lol.

  • Alberto

    No surprise, I live in Mexico, and I frequently had my front door light bulbs stolen. But there’s not definite way to know who the perp was

    • Bill in Houston

      Sure there is, but they’d probably steal your closed circuit camera, too.

    • teaj

      yes there is. I’m certain I know the kind of person and they are all the same.

  • Katrinka Yobotz

    Not just stole, but ransacked? Definitely a hate crime.

  • Deb

    California is the pucker of America.

  • Katheryn

    Some people do not belong in the United States of America. They have no sense of values in belonging to a country that are far too high for the low lives that they truly are. Basically, stealing from these people for what they enjoyed doing for Christmas proves my point. They belong in third world countries, not a first world as this one. Prisons are filled with these vermin who are born to women who teach nothing about a country they have no clue about.

    • Deb

      I couldn’t agree more. Every day I feel I can no longer be surprised, then I read a story like this one.

      Some people believe it is okay to take belongings and money from hard working people. Makes me sick!

      • Rodney Johnson

        those people are called OBAMA VOTERS.

  • Dave

    Ashley, you are a MORON! I hope someone steals your stuff!!!

    • Off Duty

      ashley really is an idiot.

  • Jolynn

    why can’t some one ASSUME that they are going to live peacefully?????? THAT’S SO SAD……………… I say Assume Away……….we should all assume we can live peacefully and those who disrupt that ….Karma…….!!!!!

  • Capt America

    To bad, but that’s what you get for living in the liberal cesspool called Los Angeles. You voted for the people who run you city and state now deal with it.

    • Happy in Tennessee

      Exactly. That is why, more than a year ago, I left that POS state in my rearview mirror and have not looked back. I feel for my family members that remain there (by their own choice, despite having lost their sources of income more than 2 years ago), but I will never go back. That stinking cesspool of a state can fall into the damn ocean for all I care.

      • Happy in Tennessee

        You will love it here, tt. I have lived in Chattanooga for the last 18 months, and there is always something to do here. Atlanta and Nashville are both less than 2 hours drive away. Unfortunately, I will miss it. Have to move to the Tampa are for my job in December.

        At least I can still visit…

      • tt

        Tennessee is a good place to be – My Son, Grandson n Daughter in law live there…. This place stays this bad …. we’ll be there too….We would already be gone if we didnt own our home….

  • Matt

    Aw gee too bad. Here I sit laid off wondering how I will come up with just half the money these gluttons wasted on pointless glitzy garbage, so I can just pay my rent. Must be nice to have an extra $1,600 to waste on decorations.

    • STFU just STFU

      Matt, please give me your address so I can come by and give you a crippling beating to go with your unemployed, pathetic life.

      • Mark

        … Merry Christmas,

    • StarSamm

      Matt I could not agree with you more. Also consider the $1600 they spent on these silly XMAS decorations prolly cost the Chinese who made them $120 at the most. The China slave labor factory owners are laughing all the way to the bank.

      • Chronicus

        And people hate Vegas because they have too many global warming lights threatening first-nation whale-killers.

    • Smashicus

      Maybe a cardboard box may be more affordable for you.

      • Smashicus

        Been there, done that. Better yet I didn’t complain about how unfair the world was or dismiss people’s spending habits as wonton wastefulnes.

      • Matt

        Maybe, but be careful that you don’t utter a self fufilling prophecy.

      • mac

        Me too. Lost job after 25 years of dedicated service. Was unemployed for about an hour. Granted new job was selling cars (at 1/5th the salary) but at least it was a job! After 3 years of menial jobs finally got hired at about 2/3 of original salary. Had to settle for that. Not complaining. Happy to have what I have. I had to pound the pavement for a long time to get it though!

    • Laszlo

      Good god, grow up you entitled puke. So let me get this straight – stealing from them was OK in your eyes, because they’ve managed their lives better than YOU did?

      • ClearyJ

        Matt –

        That “wonton wasteful spending” put money in the pocket of someone else who has a job because that company makes sales. Your misfortune does not give you license to judge other people’s lives. And it sure doesn’t give you the right to judge them and then complain when others judge you in return. Now – what are you actively doing to better your situation? Is there anything you could be doing that you’re not? I’m not asking you to respond publicly. It’s your own business. But complaining about someone else’s ability to celebrate is not helping you have a better life even a tiny little bit; unless you’re simply looking for a way to blow off steam.

      • Matt

        Gee, I didn’t realize that losing a job through no fault of my own because the company I worked for can no longer afford to operate is “mismanaging my life.” It’s so typical of people to resort to personal attacks when they can’t think of anything inteligent to respond with.

        I did not say that stealing from them was OK. I was pointing out thier wonton wasteful spending, so typical of this engorged nation we live in.

      • Scott

        You attacked them first Matt. It’s their money and they can spend it on whatever they want. Do you grant others the right to dictate to you how you spend YOUR money? I imagine we could find a few wasteful things in your house. How about you worry about your own life and leave others to theirs.

      • Jared Larson

        Time out.

        The only time I ever heard of ‘wonton wastefulness’ was at a Chinese restaurant when somebody left without eating the soup.

        Look up ‘wonton’ in a dictionary, fool. It’s a Chinese dumpling.

        Not a way to describe something. Not sure what you’re driving at, unless you’re trying to compare this family’s yard with the tacky, plasticky decorations at many Chinese restaurants. If that’s it, I’m with you there.

        Maybe it was their HOA, tired of their endless warnings being lost in this family’s clutter, er, ‘decorations.’

        We put a wreath with a big red bow on our brick chimney, then spotlight it. Another wreath on the front door, some pine bough garlands and if I’m feeling particularly ambitious I might stake some white mini lights along the front walk.

        Anybody who puts up an inflatable “decoration” in their YARD is just asking for ridicule. If it was inflatables that got stolen, somebody did this tacky family a favor.

        Can’t get too down on them because they are spearheading a drive to help the poor, and there are so many since the eco-freakos turned off the water around here.

        But a yard full of inflatable fashion crimes could have given nice presents to several families full of needy children.

        I doubt it was Mexicans that stole this stuff. Has anyone checked the neighbors’ garages? The family looks like they’d be marvelous neighbors, but I sure wouldn’t enjoy living across the street from that house, especially since apparently they believe Thanksgiving is merely the midpoint of the Christmas season, which stretches from Halloween to, say, February.

        No. Just no.

    • Deb

      It’s their money to do what they want with. As long as they are responsible and do not demand a bailout, then I am okay with it.

      • kitcole

        Amen! Everyone can celebrate when and how they wish! Others should leave them alone and respect that right! I am glad they are collecting canned goods for the poor and needy – I hope they can put some decorations together and add to them and enjoy them even all through next year if they want to!

    • Vette66

      Hey Matt, I’m 60+ and I’ve had 9 jobs to support my family. Of course some of them were part time along with my full time job. Some of the part times were not what I wanted to do, but it kept a roof over our head, food on the table and clothes on our backs. Matt try reading the help wanted ads. Bet you will find something out there to help ease the pain.

    • James

      You were probably laid off because the economy just doesn’t work with the government consuming 50% of GDP and wasting 95% of that buying votes. Your disgust with things would be better off directed at the government than someone’s silly attraction to colored lights.

      • Happy in Tennessee

        Amen to that.

    • Dooby1

      But you’ve got money for the internet every month. And when you get rich you’ll be so much wiser. Stop watching MTV, Beavis.

    • Hawkdriver1961

      Matt you are being eaten up by the green one eyed monster called jealousy. The man earned his money just as you did and is entiled to spend it as he pleases. Your anger is misplaced my friend. I know part of you feels entitled to that $1600 he spent, but your not…keep looking for a job and fight dispair. Things will work out….

    • jslab129

      Does that wonton spending come with an egg roll?

    • Ric W

      Matt you’re an idiot. That’s why you don’t have a job. Stop being envious of hard working people. These people paid their dues (and taxes). Earned their money and could afford to buy whatever they did. Not only that, idiot — what they bought they chose to share with the community. They don’t owe you a @#$%! thing. More over stop feeling sorry for yourself and use that energy to try even harder at getting a better education and training.Then and only then will you — hopefully — get a job! And you won’t sound like such a jerk.

    • ObserverNY


      What a selfish, disgrace of a human being you are. This hard working family, who grew up poor, put a lot of “heart” into that display and despite being VIOLATED by godless thugs, still want to collect for those less fortunate than themselves.

      God will reward these good people. Not you though, pal.

    • rocco

      Matt, maybe that sitting so much is your problem, not how much money other people have or spend. Get a job and stop expecting someone else to solve your problems.

    • Jude

      Maybe you do not understand how the world works, People buy product from companies and in turn they pay employees. You are falling into the class warfare that the media has put into your mind. Because they chose to decorate their home is no business of yours .Quit complaining as it appears that you still can afford to have the internet

    • proudnot2bliberal

      they probably worked for it & didnt expect a bail out or to have everything handed to them like you OWS bums. take a shower & get a job & stop with the marxit class warfare the racist in the WH uses

    • JustAGuy

      Matt, I don’t believe you’re laid off. Obama said since 2009 that he was focused like a laser on jobs jobs jobs. So there are no laid off people, because Obama has performed so well creating jobs, he deserves a second term.

    • proudnot2bliberal

      Matt instead of sitting on your lazy butt collecting unemployment or welfare how about using the net to search for a job? Sorry to tell you dude the economy is down & you arent going to get that chief line cook job at McD back that you used to have at the same rate of pay. You may even have to move out of mommy & daddys basement to go somewhere that they have jobs even in another state.

    • Glenn

      Matt since when is anything owed to you?
      What gives you the right to tell anyone how to spend their money?
      They earned it and they can do with it what they want.
      It is not your place to say a damn thing to them.
      Get off your dead ass and go find a freaking job

    • Chicago Guy

      Matt “Here I sit laid off wondering”

      You might do a little better if you stop “sitting and wondering”..

    • Deanna in Alberta CANADA

      Maybe the money they spent on the ‘pointless glitzy garbage’ is keeping others employed.

      Merry Christmas and may you get plenty of coal in your stocking to keep your house warm.

      P.S. “Here I sit” … get off your ass and find a job or two. Feeling sorry for yourself doesn’t pay too much, does it!

    • Drew

      That’s your problem Matt. You “sit” laid off” instead of getting off your lazy rear and trying to find work.Probably a die hard member of the “entitled” generation that wants everything handed to them.

      It’s really sad you’re upset with a couple of hardworking people who would just like to enjoy something nice that they didn’t have growing up. Shame on them!

    • Steve Hollar

      LMFAO. You silly fool. I am self employed, 62 years old, business is horrible, I have no retirement, and I’m losing the home I’ve lived in for 32 years. I applaud the Rudds for bringing some joy to people who see their decorations. Let me guess, you think the evil rich should have their money taken from them and given to you. How about doing what I’m doing, re-invent yourself, be resourceful, and get through this economic mess instead of putting people down for having a little more than you do.

    • Peneieve

      Matt, you’re suffering from what is called “the sin of envy.”

      How are the decorations “pointless” if they bring joy to the family and happiness to others?

      My father used to be much worse of than you during the Great Depression – and was forced to leave school at 13 to help his family. Even then, he used to love to go to the wealthy side of town and see the fine houses, gardens and cars. Never envied them – was happy for them and wished them more!

      He, like George Baily ended up “the richest man in town” – but not just in friends, as a businessman who employed many. He never would tolerate self pity, and taught us kids to shun envy – as someone should have taught you. Let go of the envy, Matt, iand spread some happiness.

    • Dano


      You need to get over the self pity party and move on with your life.

      When this family purchased these decorations they kept the economy moving. Someone was paid to stock the shelves at the store, to bring the goods to the retailer, ship the goods from China, and someone in China was paid to produce them, the owner of the factory made money too. .

      The economy is interconnected. What we need to do is grow the economy and not have our government try to pick winners and losers.

    • nheckt

      With proper planning and not being a loser you too could have had an extra1,600 laying around. Aw geez to bad you are an idiot!!!!

    • Tom Walter

      Matt = Tool

      • Beey

        Matt = MEXICAN

    • Jen

      Yes it is NICE and is something to aspire to. Sadly I’ve been in the same position (twice) as Matt and it is much nicer to have a job and extra money to bring cheer to others one way or the other. I don’t begrudge others for doing so.

  • Dwight Nave

    Now Occupy Los Angeles has their Christmas decorations.

    • Bubba

      They used to be Occupy Flint, but back then they were known as the UAW.

  • Rod Johnson


    • mac

      you mean ELECTROCUTE???

  • Paul B.

    Does it ease the pain to blame the victim? This nation is rapidly descending into moral chaos.

  • Dave

    I have contacted the station to offer a donation to the Rudd family to help them replace their decorations. I challenge all of you, and CBS to donate to the Rudds also. Let’s show them that though this world is going to hell, not everyone is ruined yet.

    • GLF

      I think this is a great idea! Let’s restore faith in humanity this holiday season….

    • ClearyJ

      I’d donate if I believed the police could nab and incarcerate the thieves. If there is a way to station a neighborhood watch for this family’s decorations, I’ll donate.

  • Vic

    Good lord there are some class A jerks on the internet making stupid comments from the anonymity of their computers.

    Makes me sick.

    • Smashicus

      LOL. Good one. way to make your point.

    • Occupy Fresno

      Touche, Fart Smeller, I mean, Smart Feller.

  • ClearyJ

    You are a bitter, spiteful little soul aren’t you. Maybe you should start a “we support thieves who grinch for Christmas.” Merry Christmas, though you don’t deserve one.

  • irishsmile

    30 years ago we lived in Highland Park. A close relative had been killed in a car wreck 2 weeks before Christmas. We had put up lights on our front porch right before the accident. The night that we had to go to his rosary, our neighbor’s punk kids stole all the lights around our front door. That was the end of Christmas lights for us in L A. Now we live in Oregon and put up a beautiful nativity scene in our front yard. and other lights. No vandalism at all.

    • LaVonte d'Ashawn Jackson IV

      Irish, you must live in Bend. If you were anywhere near Portland or Salem those communist America-haters would complain to the city about your nativity scene and you would be arrested, jailed, fined and sentenced to160 hours community service in the state-run mosque and forced to attend state-sponsored sensitivity training.

    • proudnot2bliberal

      But I’m sure it wasn’t his fault and his parents didn’t apologize or punish the pos. I’ll bet the punk kid is now demanding everything for free at the occupy LA.

  • melvin

    The lights were stolen, because they had religous significance. Separation of church and state people, even on private property. Because all land belongs to the state. Private property is an urban legend, people just really lease they’re lots and acreage from the State.
    This type of behavior will not be tolerated by the State. Remember this or you will be visited to.

    • melvin

      This is not an urban legend. There are kids out there that believe this type of junk being taught in gov. run schools. Kids are taught that anything associated with Chrismas is religous and it should be destroyed.

      • Mark

        Urban legend?
        What rock are you climbing out from under?
        This is a real news story.

        Good Lord, please get out of your basement once in a while.

      • HolidayLightShows

        Melvin, You ARE an CLASS A Brain-Dead Idiot! I went to public schoolls and when I was in school we had the ‘Pledge of Allegience”, “Prayer in School” and, oh forbid, CHRISTMAS DECORATED CLASSROOMS with lights, nativity scenes, religious and whimsical themes that the students participated in And and forbid we also had CHRISTMAS PLAYS too.

        These people OWN their home, the only thing is we pay taxes (which I don’t agree with) yearly for the priveledge to own a piece of property. The Givernment DOES NOT, NOR HAVE THEY EVER OWN A PERSONS’ PROPERTY, but they do tax it, which I do believe to be unfair, once you buy a home and property there should be NO MORE fees or anything else associated with it once it’s paid off. It’s also why I detest HOA’s and won’t buy into a neighborhood that has one!

        So get your facts straight because apparently you are still in school and young, so you’re getting brainwashed by someone if you really believe this.

        As for the folks Christmas decorating, I put up MY DECORATIONS for Halloween the last 2 weeks of September, I put up MY CHRISTMAS Decorations immediately after the Halloween decor comes down, usually start the first week in November, some folks I know put up their Decor starting in late July-early August because we do a computerized animated lightshow synchronized to music.

        And that costs a LOT more than the $1,600 these folks spent, chances are they also do something similar from the way the article reads, PLUS they help folks (many of the folks that put up these type displays raise a lot of money for charitable organizations, humane societies, etc.

        So those that take the attidude because these folks put up their decor BEFORE Thanksgivng have no clue what goes into the wiring and running of cables to make all this work, hundreds of hours are spent between doing the music to match the lights, enhancing it and putting it all up.

        And to say someone deserves this is just completely the most insensitive, not to say meanest thing I’ve ever seen posted.

    • Publius Artis

      Where did you learn to write for the love of Mike?

      • Melvin

        Do not look at what I wrote, but understand what I said. You sound like your a product of government run education.

  • ohsweetashley

    ashley. will you make out with me?!

  • pat

    We have lost all sense of propriety and shame. We have become a hip hop nation.

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