Thieves steal holiday decorations from Claus Applause winners

December 31, 2015

Maxine Donnachie said several of their holiday decorations were stolen earlier in December. Photo courtesy Rebecca Bennett.

BY REBECCA BENNETT — Two days after two Queensbury Road residents won first place for Ward 1 in the City of Hyattsville Claus Applause holiday decorating contest, someone stole several decorations from their yard.

Maxine Donnachie said she noticed early Friday, Dec. 18 that two decorative deer, three lit trees and the cords that went with them were gone.  The heads of the deer moved up and down, she said, and the lights on the trees changed colors.

First Place - Ward 1

First Place – Ward 1

Donnachie said she was very upset.  “It was really grinchy,” the 67-year-old resident said.  So grinchy, she thought for a moment that this would be their last year decorating.

Then, she decided she wasn’t going to let the thieves beat her. “I refused to give up,” she said.  So, she went out and replaced the stolen decorations with three new deer, only one of which is animated.

Donnachie described most of her decorations as “old school” and hard to find. Her husband has lived in the house for 61 years, she said, and he fixes the lights as they burn out.  Decorating the house began eight years ago with a few items in the front yard and a few in the side yard. It’s now taken a life of its own, she said, and they are running out of room.

People often stop by to look at the decorated house. Donnachie said they have placed in the Clause Applause competition approximately five times.

If the thieves needed decorations, she said she could have just given them some.