The Grinch may be the prime suspect when someone steals Christmas, but in Rock Springs, he’s the target of a Grinchy disciple.
That’s because for the second year in a row, someone has stolen the downtown Rock Springs organization’s life-size Grinch.
“How Grinchy can someone be to snatch our Grinch … twice?” the group posted to its Facebook page on Tuesday.
Crafted by local artist Stephanie Lewis, the festive creation vanished from the downtown Rock Springs holiday display leading up to Christmas.
She was paid for her work creating the Grinch in 2022 by the city of Rock Springs Main Street/Urban Renewal Agency. After that was stolen last year, Lewis graciously donated her time and supplies this year to make another.
‘No Questions Asked’
Chad Banks, manager for Main Street/Urban Renewal Agency said he’s baffled by the recurring disappearance, saying that other characters in the display lining 725 N. Front St. haven’t been touched.
“We have other characters out there too, like last year we had Mickey Mouse, Peanuts characters, and none of them were taken,” he said.
The agency, responsible for setting the holiday mood for the city’s downtown district, has issued a heartfelt plea that diverges from what might normally be the conventional accusations of “stolen gifts or ornaments.”
"We just want the Grinch to come home. No questions asked," Banks said. “They can even leave it outside at the agency’s office at night. We have no cameras, so no one is going to get in trouble. We just want it back.”
Recalling the previous year's disappearance, Banks revealed the agency's attempt to trace the Grinch's whereabouts, which led to a dead end. This year is more of the same.
Despite what’s becoming an annual Rock Springs Grinch-napping, Banks said such incidents are not reflective of local residents, who typically show great respect for their community.
A scarcity of theft and vandalism overall makes this even more of an enigma.
“This is not a problem we see,” he said. “We are very fortunate to have residents who respect their community and property of others. We just don’t deal with a lot of theft and vandalism like other places. So, it’s weird.”
Still, while everyone at the agency is disappointed, they believe there's hope for a resolution. In the classic Dr. Seuss “How The Grinch Stole Christmas,” the Grinch ultimately brought back all the Christmas gifts he had stolen from Whoville, realizing the true spirit of the season.
That was prompted by the Grinch finally realizing the meaning of the season, which forced his heart to grow three sizes larger.
Likewise, Banks is hopeful something will prompt a similar change for whoever is pinching the Grinch and bring it back.