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Vandal caught on video slashing holiday display but cannot deflate Christmas spirit

Union Leader Correspondent

December 19. 2013 8:12PM

David Bourque stands by the inflatable holiday decorations Home Depot donated to his family after learning of the Dec. 13 vandalism incident at his Don Mac Drive home. (HUNTER McGEE/Union Leader Correspondent)

DERRY — After some minor vandalism at his home last month, David Bourque decided to set up a video surveillance system.

On Friday, Dec. 13, the system he installed captured someone using a knife to slash inflatable outdoor holiday decorations at the Don Mac Drive residence.

It shows an individual running across the yard, over to a large inflatable blue globe with flashing lights. The person uses a knife to slash at the base of the decoration, causing it to immediately lose air and sag to the snow-covered ground. A car with its lights on can be seen passing by, just as the person begins running toward the decorations.

The six inflatable decorations were damaged beyond repair, at a total cost of approximately $600, Bourque said Thursday.

"It's not an overwhelmingly large display, but it's a cute display and the kids get enjoyment out of it," Bourque said. "That's really why we do it — it's for the kids. So, having it cut up like it was last Friday was heartbreaking."

Bourque spoke from the driveway of the house. His wife, Joyce, was inside the home, ready to answer the door for a television news crew that was expected to come by later in the afternoon.

The 25-second-long video has appeared on some area media websites, Bourque said.

Fortunately, Home Depot responded Thursday after viewing a television broadcast of the vandalism on Wednesday night, Bourque said. A manager stopped by the house and dropped off some new inflatable decorations, a thankful Bourque said.

Londonderry Home Depot manager Peter Catlin said the store donated the items to try to give back to the community.

"We figured that this was the right thing to do," Catlin said. "It's part of our core value that Home Depot is giving back to community whenever we can. We want to try to right a wrong whenever possible."

Police are investigating the vandalism, Derry Police Capt. Vern Thomas said in an email Thursday. A report on the incident hadn't been completed as of press time.

Bourque said he has turned over a copy of the video to police, and they have attempted to enhance the images.

Bourque had installed the security cameras after several of the decorations received minor damage in an incident on Nov. 14. He said the cuts were not that large and the holes were easily repaired following the first incident.

But the second incident was far worse, he said.

"This was very intentional — very long cuts," he said. "This time, they really intended to destroy it," he said.

Neighbors have been sympathetic and said they hope the person responsible for it will be caught. But no one has stepped forward yet with any information, he said.He said the video of the incident has appeared on local television broadcasts and YouTube. Boston television stations and even a Portland, Maine, station have also covered the story.He said he hopes all of the media attention will help lead to the capture of the individual who committed the vandalism.

"All I want is for the person to be caught and, at a minimum, an apology," Bourque said. "I'd like to know why this happened."

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call the Derry Police Department at 432-6111.

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