NAUGATUCK — It appears area vandals are up to their old tricks in the borough’s downtown.
It used to be a common story: the borough would put up Christmas and other holiday decorations, and within days, someone would steal or destroy them. It was almost a given.
For whatever reason, that had not happened since 2007. Until this year.
The Department of Public Works has replaced a string of lights around the gazebo on the town Green several times over the past two weeks as someone has smashed many lights. And over this past weekend, someone stole two festive blow up decorations — a Tigger character and a 20-foot inflatable tree — from borough-owned property at the corner of Old Firehouse Road and Maple Street.
“In my line of work, you get used to vandalism, etc.,” said Bob Roland, Naugatuck’s Street Department supervisor. “In this case, when I think of the people and kids that go by there and get enjoyment from our efforts, this asinine stunt makes me angry.”
In 2007, Naugatuck made state and regional news when someone stole three separate baby Jesus porcelain statues from St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, which places a crèche on the Green. That year, a menorah celebrating the Jewish holiday Hanukkah was also demolished.
In 2005 and in 2006, pranksters stole the figurine from the crèche owned by the borough in the center of the Green. In 2005, the figurine was never located. But the following year, days after it was stolen, someone dropped off the statue, unharmed, at the Parks Department headquarters on Rubber Avenue. Attached to it was a handwritten apology note.
Police have been notified about the most recent theft. They ask anyone with information to call the Naugatuck Police Department at (203) 729-5222. Calls and tips can be kept confidential.