‘Grinch' steals Christmas decorations from Princeton 4-year-old

- A Princeton family has lost a little bit of their holiday cheer after someone stole Christmas decorations from their front yard.

A life-sized Minnie and Mickey Mouse were swiped by a thief in the night. The cold act left a 4-year-girl absolutely heartbroken.

Dave Cornette says this is the only theft that he knows about. Several neighbors posted on Facebook that someone cut the electrical cords and tie downs to other inflatable decorations but didn’t steal them. One neighbor decided not to risk it and put the decorations away.

Cornette and his 4-year-old granddaughter, Madison Williams, spend every morning watching the Mickey Mouse Club in the living room her favorite show.

So when the time came to add a character to their Christmas yard display, Grandpa said Madison gave the grandparents only one choice.

“She saw the Minnie and was like, ‘Oh!’ instantly. And we were like we’re not getting the snow globe so we got the Minnie,” Cornette said.

But on Sunday night, somebody stole the beloved Disney couple while the family was asleep inside.

“More than likely, if there's decorations in the yard, there’s kids involved some way, somehow,” Cornette said. “Why would you steal from kids? Why would you stoop so low to try and ruin a kid's Christmas? That‘s bad.”

Grandpa had to break the news to his granddaughter.

“They took Minnie Mouse and Micky Mouse, and they were our favorite ones, and somebody took them,” young Madison said.

46-year-old Dave Cornette Jr. a.k.a. Grandpa is a disabled Army veteran. So putting up decorations, even inflatables, can be a painstaking task.

“Honestly, if it weren't for her, we probably wouldn't do much of anything,” he said.

Cornette posted the character crime alert on the neighborhood Facebook page. Within hours, a stranger delivered the family a new Mickey and gave the family renewed faith in humanity.

Although extremely grateful, Cornette says he’s weary about putting the five-foot Mickey on display again, fearing he'll suffer the same fate as his predecessor.

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