Suspected Thief Caught on Camera Stealing Halloween Decorations

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MODESTO --

In every neighborhood, there’s always that house that goes all out for Halloween to delight and scare kids as they trick-or-treat. But in Modesto, a Halloween Grinch made an appearance -- making off with a large decoration.

Plastic ghouls, gargoyles and jack o’ lanterns -- for Michelle Catbagan, decorating her home for Halloween is a family tradition. It’s a big deal, but someone stole a piece of Halloween.

“I was inside the house and it’s scary,” Catbagan said.

A frightening sight appeared on her front porch on Saturday around 4 in the afternoon. Surveillance cameras caught the horror. A man walked up to the front porch, he took a second to mask his face, then ran off with a clown that’s about 5-feet tall and into a green getaway car.

“I freak out, I didn’t know that’s how easy ...  and people is just no remorse, just grabbing Halloween decoration inside,” Catbagan said.

A sign warning intruders they are being watched didn’t stop the thief.

“They know we have camera, they still going to get your things … it’s scary,” she said.

Before she had her surveillance camera installed, Catbagan said she had her garden hose, a pumpkin and even her flip-flops stolen from her front porch.

“It’s like, who does that?” she said.

The theft left her dumbfounded, but nothing will steal this family’s joy for Halloween. The trick-or-treating fun will go on.

“We have one clown gone, but you know what? The fun will be continued,” she said giggling.

FOX40 also spoke with neighbors off-camera, and they refer to her house as the big haunted house. They’re looking forward to visiting this Saturday despite the clown’s disappearance.

The Modesto Police Department said they are dealing with a number of stolen decorations and advise homeowners to keep items in well-lit areas, have surveillance cameras and even bolt or glue decorations down to prevent theft.