Neighbors help couple whose decorations were stolen

HAMBURG, N.Y. - When Bob Sturtevant and his wife had two of their Christmas decorations stolen last week, they couldn't have imagined how some Western New Yorkers would come to the rescue.

The Sturtevants have made many of their decorations by hand, including their wooden Grinch and Scooby Doo.

Mrs. Sturtevant hand-painted them; it took her between 20 and 30 hours for each one. Because of her arthritis, the Grinch and Scooby Doo may have been her last projects.

So you can imagine the disappointment when someone stole the decorations from their lawn last week.

Lucky for the Sturtevants, Jeff Polisoto of Amherst was watching. He called Bob to say he wanted to stop by to drop off some decorations.

But Jeff showed up in a tour bus, dressed as Santa Claus, with about a dozen other Santas with him.

"This makes us totally forget the jerks that came in and stole our decorations," says Bob Sturtevant.

The men brought with them more than $300 worth of Christmas decorations.

The Sturtevants were extremely touched; they posed for pictures with the Santas and their new decorations.

Bob also received word a group of students is making him a new Grinch and Scooby Doo.

"Apparently, they're going to try to duplicate what we had before," he says.

"How did that make you feel when you heard about that?" asked NBC affiliate WGRZ's  Kelly Dudzik.

"Just amazing that, you know, people, there are a heck of a lot of good people still left in this world I guess and I couldn't stop thinking about it for a couple of days," said Bob.

The Santas even brought Bob a tiny pine tree to plant outside as a permanent reminder of their special delivery.

"The last scene of 'It's a Wonderful Life' where the whole town shows up for George Bailey, it was something like that feeling. I've probably seen that movie ten times, first few times I saw it, it brings tears to your eyes, and this, I didn't cry out here or anything, but it was almost like that," he says.

Their daughter, Jennifer Chadwick, said they "were so happy, not (just) about receiving more decorations, but about this gentleman and his friends taking the time out to cheer them up."

The hand-crafted Grinch and Scooby Doo are still missing, and Jennifer is still offering a $200 reward to the person who helps get them back. She said they can be dropped off, no questions asked.

In the meantime, the Sturtevants' faith in the "good neighbor" spirit of Western New York has been restored thanks to those surprise Santas!


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