Christmas Vacation Lawn Decorations Stolen After Going Viral

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FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- A local man re-created a scene from a famous Christmas movie in his front yard, and pictures of the decorations have gone viral.

Now someone has stolen parts of the display that Matt Crabtree created to look like a scene from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

“I didn’t have any Christmas decorations, so I had a mannequin, and I was like, I only need one Christmas decoration," Crabtree said. "I don’t need lights or any of this; I just need Eddie.”

In just a few days, photos of Crabtree’s display became top posts on popular websites like Reddit and Uproxx. A photo posted by Meteorologist Garrett Lewis has reached more than 17 million people and been shared more than 89,000 times. Chevy Chase even shared it on his Facebook.

“This is just all crazy,” Crabtree said. “I never knew that a simple Christmas decoration would go viral like it did.”

Crabtree said he’s surprised by the attention his yard has received, but he’s even more surprised that someone stole pieces from the scene.

“I had Eddie’s Rottweiler, Snotts, and he was a porcelain statue dog and a squirrel,  and had them sitting out here," Crabtree said. "I was sitting in the house during the day just watching a movie and after the movie I got up, and I looked outside, and I noticed that my dog and squirrel were gone.”

Crabtree said the last time he put up decorations in his yard was 11 years ago, and vandals destroyed those decorations, and now this year he said he can’t believe it only took a couple of days before someone stole something, but he said he’s made sure they can’t steal anything else.

“I’ve got it chained down pretty good,” Crabtree said. “If they want to take it, it’s not going to be easy, and I’ve taken other precautions as well.”

He wouldn’t say what the other precautions were, but he did have something to say to the thieves.

“If you bring it back before they find you, I won’t press any charges and nothing, just bring the dog and squirrel back, please,” Crabtree said.

If you have any information about who might have taken the decorations, you’re encouraged to call the Fort Smith Police Department at 479-709-5012 or the Crimestoppers tip line at 78-CRIME.