The Sea Girt police department had their best men on the case. After careful planning, a coordinated effort, and painstaking diligence, they got their man. Kind of. Around-the-clock-efforts to find the culprit responsible for sabotaging the town Christmas display yielded an answer, just not the one they were expecting.
Residents of the small New Jersey township feared they had a Grinch in their midst. After putting up their elaborate holiday decorations, a number of the wires were cut in the middle of the night.
Who would do such a thing? The town was outraged.
The Sea Girt, New Jersey township rallied to repair all of the damage in time for their scheduled unveiling.
Police were now on alert. They staked out the spot, ready to use the strong arm of the law to reign down judicial blows upon their township Ebenezer Scrooge. They sat. They waited. And then, not unlike fly fishing—zing, they caught their culprit in the act.
Towering at approximately 10-inches tall, and weighing around 1 pound, this squirrel was on a mission to destroy Christmas in New Jersey. In a press release issued by the Sea Grit Police Department, they said that the squirrel was arrested on charges of criminal mischief and released on bail.
He has been asked not to leave the state.
That a squirrel is responsible for destroying the wiring of Christmas decorations is a relief. But it also presents a different set of challenges.
“The Sea Girt Police Department is proud to report that the case of our broken holiday lights has been solved,” they said in their Facebook post. “We are happy that no human acted as a grinch in this incident.”
But it isn’t all good news. Because their culprit is a squirrel, and not a rebellious teenager, they’ll have to continue to monitor the display. They were able to chase the squirrel off before doing any more damage a second time, but they worry he will return.
Earlier this week, locals were confident the wire-cutting was the work of neighborhood kids. Resident John Shibels told NBC New York it was “probably the first vandalism we’ve had in 10 years.” While local business owner Chris DeCresce said, “It sounds like a young act to me.”
Police are happy to know that their sleepy, peaceful town isn’t suddenly experiencing an outbreak of vandalism.
Earlier in the fall season, there were reports of pumpkins being smashed around town. Police were unable to nab the responsible party, but locals suspect that was the work of local rascals. It is unclear if police are currently working to connect the squirrel to the pumpkin smashing.
While it might prove to be a more difficult problem to remedy, those in the township will gladly take a mischievous squirrel over an ill-intentioned resident any day.