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Grinch-like thieves steal decorations
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The Grinch struck the Manteca home of Pat and Gayle Malone on Thursday.

Sometime between 2 and 4 a.m., thieves made off with their outdoor Christmas decorations.

Included were large inflatable items such as Santa Claus and Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer – both about 9 years old – along with two relatively new snowmen surrounded by six two-foot artificial Christmas trees, to name a few.

“We wanted to take part in the (Manteca Bulletin Holiday Lights and Decorating) contest,” Pat Malone said.

But more important than the recognition, he added, was the joy that his festive holiday front yard brought to the neighborhood children and passersby.

The Malones live just west of Southside Park on Oregon Street and Sequoia Avenue. They’ve been there for five years, and were known to go all out on the Christmas decorations.

“This house is always something special for the less fortunate kids in the area to see and enjoy,” said Richard, who is one of the neighbors.

The Malones could only hope that the Grinch, as in the Dr. Seuss story, has a heart by returning their Christmas decorations, with no questions asked.

Meanwhile, they have some items that weren’t taken.

“We’ll have to re-arrange the decorations, for now,” Pat Malone said. “I’m not going to let what happened here get me down.”