Steelhead park lights were ripped off 2020. (Houston Chamber of Commerce photo/Houston Today)

Steelhead park lights ripped off and stolen

Vandals destroy the Christmas lights at the park

Steelhead park’s Christmas lights were ripped off and stolen from the fence last week.

On Dec. 16, the Houston & District Chamber of Commerce wrote on their social media about the incident.

The post said, “To the Grinch that stole the Christmas lights off the fence in Steelhead park, we really hope you needed them. The lights are attached to the fence with zap straps, and you had to cut all the straps to take the lights. You didn’t just steal the lights from the park but from the whole community. The lights that decorate Steelhead Park are hung by volunteers for the entire community to enjoy. If anyone knows any information, please contact the Houston RCMP.”

This year’s lights were reportedly put up by the 2020 grad class. The light up for this year cost $9,000.

The chamber hosted this year’s Christmas light-up virtually via Facebook Live on Nov. 27 at 7 p.m. where the Steelhead Park was lit-up for the season. After the light-up at the park, a light-up parade led by Santa with help from Houston Fire Department, went through the community, starting from Steelhead Park. The chamber encouraged community members to sign up to be part of the parade. Community members were encouraged to decorate their vehicles with Christmas lights.

However, this incident that comes with just a few days until Christmas is a blow to the efforts put in by the volunteers.

This isn’t the first time that there has been vandalism and theft at the Steelhead Park. Earlier this year in September, Rachelle Barden, who is in charge of maintaining and landscaping for the park, along with her husband Tom, discovered several missing perennials and recklessly abandoned annuals.

“Lately there have been some miscreants at night stealing a bunch of plants. In all the 16 years that I have been working here, there has been hardly any vandalism,” she had said at the time. There was some more destruction of grass and landscaping after this incident.

As with the vandalism earlier this year, the Christmas lights getting stolen angered the community with several of them suggesting over social media, things like cameras to asking about any neighborhood watch programs.

“First the flowers, now the lights? So sad to steal from your community. Maybe cameras need to be installed,” said one of the comments while another one said, “Time for our Mayor to step up and figure out a way to crack down on the rising crime rate in this town. I know they only took lights but theft is theft.”

If you have any information about this, contact the Houston RCMP at (250) 845-2204 or Crime Stoppers at 1(800) 222-8477.

Priyanka Ketkar
Multimedia journalist

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