Bad Santa strikes: Costumes for Christmas event missing

Friday, November 6, 2015

The Eureka Springs High School Rotary Interact Club is missing several costumes used for its Christmas Traditions event.

Joanie Kratzer, who works with the club, reported finding that the costumes were missing on Thursday, Oct. 29. Kratzer said the costumes were being kept at a storage unit in Holiday Island, noting that the lock was missing from the unit.

"I didn't know it had been broken off when I opened it. I had the costumes stored in a little portable closet, and it had been unzipped and all but three of the costumes were gone," Kratzer said.

Soon after discovering the alleged theft, Kratzer reported the incident to the Carroll County Sheriff's Office. Kratzer said only three costumes were left behind.

Carroll County Dep. Jeremy Berner confirmed on Wednesday that the costumes had been stolen.

"I don't have any clue why anyone would do that. It's just unbelievable that someone would steal from us," Kratzer said.

With the costumes missing, she said, the club has lost an integral part of its Christmas Traditions celebrations. Kratzer explained that students dress up as Christmas characters when Santa Claus visits Basin Park, saying the event helps students interact with other community members. She added that the students also wear the costumes at the annual Christmas parade.

"It's about working with the community and getting out there and entertaining the children," Kratzer said.

In light of the alleged theft, Kratzer is asking community members to help the club rebuild its costume collection. To make a donation, call Kratzer at 479-253-5986 or 314-402-1079.

Berner said the investigation into the theft is ongoing.

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