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Stolen Halloween decoration found in thief's yard, police say

Posted at 5:29 PM, Oct 09, 2019

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (KMTV) -- — A family was able to track down a sentimental Halloween decoration stolen on camera.

Erica Parker put up an inflatable cat outside her mom's home in Council Bluffs.

Overnight Monday surveillance video shows a man stealing the decoration.

Parker's family took down their entire display; heartbroken the cat was gone since it was their dad's favorite. He died of cancer about 4 years ago.

Parker got a tip from a neighbor, and found the cat blown up in someone else's yard about 24 hours later. Police arrived and they identified the item as Parker’s.

"It was a huge relief to get it back actually, and I know it sounds crazy because it's a Halloween decoration but to our family it's been passed down so it's more to us than just a Halloween decoration,” Parker explained.

Andrew Gillespie, 29, was cited for misdemeanor theft. Police say he admitted to taking it, saying it was a bad decision.

Parker says they’re putting up more security cameras.

She wants to thank the neighbors and people on Facebook for looking out for something that's more than just a Halloween decoration.

“It still shows that there are good people out there in this world,” Parker described. “Definitely a lot of people out here are going to start keeping their eyes open a little more on all the crime activity that's been happening in our neighborhood, but with everybody pulling together we shouldn't have a problem."

Gillespie will be in court next week.