‘Grinch’ tries to hide stolen Christmas decorations in own yard in Safety Harbor

SAFETY HARBOR, Fla. (WFLA) — A Grinch who tried to steal Christmas was busted. A Safety Harbor man is accused of stealing Christmas decorations from one yard and then displaying them in his own yard.

Cindy Meyer and her family have been putting inflatables up in their Safety Harbor yard for years.

“We’ve been doing this for a long time, we’ve lived here a few years and every year we add more and more to our collection,” Meyer said.

It’s a family tradition the Meyer family looks forward to every year.

“They like to run out here, hug the inflatables, give them high fives. I mean it’s a big deal to them,” said Meyer.

But police say Michael Fitzjarrell didn’t have a jolly soul and stopped by to try to steal Christmas.

He’s accused of stealing a 9-foot shark, a T-Rex and a penguin beach.

“The Grinch came and actually tried to steal our Christmas decorations,” Meyer said. “And on Saturday my children were very upset and they insisted that we go back to the Lowry Park Zoo and see Santa for a second time to specifically ask him to help get Mommy’s shark inflatable back for Christmas.”

A good Samaritan let the Meyer family know they saw the missing inflatables at a home on Shore Drive just three miles away.

“He did finally admit to police that he was just drunk and it was a stupid idea,” said Meyer.

Last night police returned the inflatables and Christmas will go on as normal.

“Christmas is not about decorations in the yard or the tree. It is about family,” said Meyer.

Fitzjarrell admitted to police it was a drunken mistake. He was arrested and charged with grand theft. He has since bonded out of the Pinellas County Jail.

The inflatables were valued at $450.

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