Burglars swipe City of Gulfport's Christmas decorations

Burglars swipe City of Gulfport's Christmas decorations
Thousands of dollars-worth of Christmas decorations used in Gulfport’s Harbor Lights Winter Festival are missing. (Photo source: WLOX)
Thousands of dollars-worth of Christmas decorations used in Gulfport’s Harbor Lights Winter Festival are missing. (Photo source: WLOX)
According to one council member, it's up to $80,000 worth of lights and equipment. (Photo source: WLOX)
According to one council member, it's up to $80,000 worth of lights and equipment. (Photo source: WLOX)

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A holiday Scrooge may have hit in the middle of summer. Thousands of dollars-worth of Christmas decorations used in Gulfport's Harbor Lights Winter Festival are missing. According to one council member, it's up to $80,000 worth of lights and equipment.

The city storage site on Railroad Street was burglarized three times in two days, according to the Gulfport Police Department's online crime map. City spokesman Chris Vignes said he's aware of the break-ins but it's unclear exactly what was taken.

"The city is doing an inventory and assessment. The spot where someone possibly entered has been secured. The building and fence have both been secured," Vignes said.

Councilwoman Ella Holmes-Hines said she learned of the break-ins from an email.

"Based on the items taken, the average person wouldn't know how to use them," Holmes-Hines said.

Councilman Rusty Walker told WLOX News Now the second annual Harbor Lights Winter Festival is not in jeopardy. Island View Casino donated $500,000 last year to launch the event and pledged a total of $2.5 million, over five years, to sustain the project.

The inaugural Harbor Lights Winter Festival was hugely popular and city leaders called it the beginning of a new holiday tradition. The second year is slated to open November 26.

The city also has a Halloween light display planned for Jones Park in October. City leaders say none of those decorations were at the storage facility where the break-ins happened.

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