Opinion

Bluefield growls over a Grinch

An editorial from the Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD, W.Va. — In 2009, Bluefield’s Holiday of Lights was repeatedly targeted by thieves seeking copper wire. The crimes were an awful act then, and they are just as terrible now. As of Thursday, one or more individuals have stolen Holiday of Lights cables twice, shutting down large sections of the festive displays. This creates a lot of disappointment when visitors arrive only to see their favorite displays dark and cold thanks to an act of thievery.

The city takes great pride in the Holiday of Lights display. Many families make visits to the dazzling Christmas lights one of their holiday traditions. Grandparents who want to entertain their visiting grandchildren take them for a ride through Lotito Park so the children will have Christmas memories they can treasure. Many visitors drive for hours just so they can drive through the city park and see the colorful displays of Christmas cheer.

In 2009, investigators with the Bluefield and Bluefield, Va. police departments believed the thieves were using all-terrain vehicles to bypass locked gates and enter the park through Virginia. Today’s thieves could be using similar means to enter the park.

City leaders hoped the culprits would find some Christmas spirit in their hearts and renounce such thefts. Whether the 2009 thieves saw the light is unknown, but the thieves now striking the Holiday of Lights have a chance to find redemption.

We are confident our local law enforcement will catch these perpetrators — and quickly. Stealing from the Holiday of Lights display is, in essence, stealing from every individual in the city and region who enjoys the annual tradition of visiting the display.

It’s stealing from children and their parents.

It’s stealing from grandparents.

It’s stealing from hard-working parents who drive through the light show so their kids can enjoy the spirit of the holiday.

To compound the situation, stealing these electrical cables is also dangerous…

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