Sacramento, California 2020-10-17 01:40:31 –
Natmas (CBS13) – Looking for a grinch stealing holiday cheers in Natmas earlier this year as a thief stole decades of Christmas-inspired pickup trucks and U-hole trailers.
Christmas is more than a holiday for Tom Yambaskey.
“I have a lot of memories there for myself, my daughters, and the whole family around me,” he said.
For 18 years, Tom has illuminated the North Natomas district with thousands of decorations. Tom usually started about a month early and decorated not only his home but also his neighbors. He tied the lights from house to house, completing a winter wonderland in the neighborhood. Tom even brings snow from Tahoe for the kids to have a snowball fight.
His love for decoration and holiday cheers began over 50 years ago.
“I decorated my parents’ house when I was a teenager,” Tom said. “In fact, one of my most important things is the three-piece nativity scene I’ve maintained since then, and I put it out every year.”
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The nativity set was stolen on Thursday night, along with hundreds of other decorations. Tom parked his tanned 2007 Ford F-250 and rented a U-Hall trailer outside the hotel near the 2800 Gateway Oaks Boulevard. He checked the car around 10 pm Thursday and by 5 am Friday his trucks and thousands of them were gone.
“My heart just sank,” Tom said. “I thought about what was in it, so it sank further.”
A road crash on the move out of state that Tom didn’t expect. Tom has so many decorations that he had to rent a U-Hall trailer to bring them all to his new home in Washington. He estimates that the decoration will cost thousands of dollars.
Sacramento police found his trailer hours after it was reported stolen near A and 16th streets on the outskirts of downtown Sacramento. When the U-Hole was recovered, Tom said the thief had to tear most of his stuff from the trailer, smash items, and take some of the decorations for themselves. Police are still looking for his truck with the rest of his decoration.
“I don’t know. I knew it was the clothes and things people needed, but I was doing Christmas decorations. I don’t know,” he said.
For Tom, these are more than just decorations. He shared with the community decades of love, memories, and inspiration. Now he wants an early Christmas miracle. Despite the loss, it does not steal the spirit of his holiday.
“For me, all the reasons for Christmas are yes. These are things that go through, but that’s more important,” Tom said.
Police are still looking for his Ford F-250 with license plate number 13165D2.