This suspected Grinch didn't steal Christmas, but he allegedly stole a Rudolph display from the roof of a Ranchview neighborhood sign in Rolling Hills Estates, authorities said.
This week they announced that the stolen, wooden, red-nosed reindeer was back in the hands of its owners after they found it being displayed on the roof of a South Bay mobile home. "It was remounted and lit up as if it was their own Christmas decoration," the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department said in a statement.
Sheriff's officials this week announced an arrest in the case of the missing Rudolph, too:
The suspect was identified as mobile-home dweller Sandro Gonzalez of Gardena.
The 40-year-old was arrested and booked in lieu of $20,000 bail on Monday and then released yesterday afternoon, according to sheriff's inmate data, which erroneously lists him as a female.
He was booked on suspicion of possessing stolen property, sheriff's officials said at the scene of his arrest. Gonzalez was expected to face a judge in Torrance today.
The suspect told cops that he found the Rudolph at the side of a road, but authorities say he's a gardener who worked in the area where Rudolph was taken.
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This thing deputies are calling a statue is special, too. According to a sheriff's statement:
The wooden statue had been on display with its shiny red nose for all to enjoy, for over 50 years. The statue sat atop the Ranchview neighborhood sign located on Palos Verdes Drive North and Ranchview Road. The thieves had broken off the antlers during the crime.
He's back, just in time for Christmas.