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Halloween theft

Theft mars Halloween spirit in Epping

Union Leader Correspondent

October 21. 2013 9:42PM

An E.T. scarecrow on Route 102 is one of about 200 decorations on display in Chester. Thieves stole a display from a home in Epping. (JASON SCHREIBER PHOTO)

If you happen to find a head, hands and feet belonging to Frankenstein, give Epping police a call.

The creepy Halloween display near a mailbox in front of a residence on Hamilton Drive disappeared last week.

The display featured a Frankenstein mask over a large ball with the hands and feet positioned to make it look like Frankenstein was emerging from the ground.

The thief also swiped a cornstalk, leaving behind a second cornstalk and the fake spider webs on the house.

The homeowner, who asked not to be named, said her family always puts out a display with lots of decorations, but this was the first year with a Frankenstein.

“They’ve never bothered anything, and this year we didn’t do as much and they took what we had. It’s frustrating,” she said.

Police believe Frankenstein was taken sometime after 8 p.m. on Oct. 15.

“This time of year brings out this type of element. Fortunately, this is the first theft,” Epping police Capt. Jason Newman said.

Frankenstein’s disappearance has disappointed other families on the street.

“Of course we noticed the police come and the kids are wondering why strangers are coming in the night and stealing stuff. It’s a hard thing to explain and the kids worry,” said one Hamilton Drive neighbor.

Halloween decorations can often become targets for goblins looking to spoil the season, but so far it hasn’t been a big problem, local police officials said.

The town of Chester is known for its displays, with more than 200 scarecrows located around town to raise money for the Chester Historical Society.

Chester Police Chief William Burke said there have been no reports of vandalism and he hopes it stays that way.

“In general people are stopping and taking pictures and are really enjoying them,” he said of the scarecrows, one of which is a police officer in a cruiser in front of the police department.

Hampstead police Lt. John Frazier said his department hasn’t received many reports of Halloween display thefts over the years, but he offered some advice.

“My advice would be for people to bring their decorations in and not leave them out overnight. Typically it’s teens and twenty-somethings out drinking that find opportunity to take the stuff if they’re out driving by late at night,” he said.Disappearing decorations haven’t been a problem in Rye either, but Police Chief Kevin Walsh stressed the importance of keeping the displays in a location where there’s a light always shining on them or a motion light.Newman said lights are probably the best deterrent.

“During the Halloween season we typically handle numerous calls related to stolen pumpkins or decorations, and also damage to mailboxes or smashed pumpkins. It’s difficult to keep pumpkins and decorations safe from these crimes. Perhaps keeping lights on at night would help,” he said.

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