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Vandals destroy Halloween decorations in Surprise neighborhood

Posted at 10:52 PM, Oct 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-16 08:22:25-04

It took only a few seconds to turn towering decorations, into piles of vinyl. Pumpkins, Spiders, even a 12-foot dragon were left on the ground, for homeowners to discover slashed and destroyed Saturday. 

"It just broke my heart," said Sonia Mastrapasqua. "It made me sad, and it made me angry.”

Each of her four inflatable decorations was cut through. Four more were found damaged across her neighborhood at three separate homes in Surprise off 175th Avenue and Greenway Road.

“It’s not the end of the world, but these are my things, and I paid, I paid for these things, and these things were not for them to destroy,” Mastrapasqua said.

A few blocks away, Shat Schmitt's home was also a target, but only one of her many inflatables was hit.

“It’s wrong, you shouldn’t be doing that other people stuff, it’s not a good time, I have a child, and I would be really upset if I found out my child was doing this,” Schmitt said.

Mastrapasqua's vandalism has sparked conversation among her neighbors after one man said he caught the two vandals on video. His surveillance camera from across the street clearly depicts two people, running down the sidewalk, laughing and using a sharp object to slash through each of her four inflatables.

"It’s quite alarming that they would just pick something up and stab something like that," she said. "Eight or nine times with that kind of you know fury and intent; it’s quite alarming.”

Surprise Police say they took down two reports of vandalism from homeowners in her community, and say they saw the surveillance video, but can't make out the identities of the two involved. 

Homeowners say they still want to keep their homes decorated, and hope to replace the damaged decor by Halloween. 

“It’s sad that now we have to be one of the houses that have to get cameras," Sonia's daughter, Alexx Gallardo, added. "That we have to be afraid of putting up our decorations when it shouldn’t be like that.”

Homeowners say they would agree to prosecute whoever is responsible for the hundreds of dollars in damage they caused. At least one of the inflatables damaged was purchased for more than $200.