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Thieves steal Jessica Thurkow's cherished memories, homemade Halloween decorations

Published On: Oct 10 2012 08:00:00 PM EDT   Updated On: Oct 11 2012 06:39:12 PM EDT

A Halloween spirit has been crushed. Thieves trashed a Halloween display in the middle of the night, and the owner said the decorations can never be replaced.


A Halloween spirit has been crushed with thieves trashing a Halloween display in the middle of the night.

The owner, Jessica Thurkow, said the decorations were made by her late mother, and they can never be replaced.

Thurkow's house in Muhlenberg Twp., Berks Co., looks like the scene of a real-life Halloween horror.


Skeletons are in the window, arms are hung from the porch and gravestones in the yard. Thurkow has maintained her mother's festive fall tradition since she passed away unexpectedly last year.

"It was like my mom's way of saying she was proud of me for keeping her favorite holiday alive and all her decorations she made," said Thurkow, who was crying while looking at her house.

Most of her mother's hand-crafted creations were swiped from her home late Tuesday night. Her mother's collection took 12 years to build, and Thurkow said her pain and tears have now turned into anger.

"I kind of feel violated that my stuff was stolen, and they walked right up on my porch and stole it while we were upstairs," she said.

According to Thurkow, the decorations are more than just ghosts and goblins. They are a piece of her mother's legacy, a legacy she most likely will not get back or be able to pass on to her 2-month-old son, who never met his grandmother.

"That's a story I would like to tell him and let him know how she was," Thurkow said.

Strings were still hanging where the decorations were cut. Thurkow moved her mother's remaining life-sized hard work into the garage and into the living room, in fear the thieves will return.

"It's horrible. You put them out for other people and other people take advantage of you and end up stealing them," said Missie Johnston, who lives up the street.

"People have nothing else to do but destroy other people's property, and they need to get a life," said Kathleen Lieber, who lives a few houses down from Thurkow.

Thurkow's mother loved making the decorations for the kids. Now, not much is left.

"It's just a lot of years of memories, and I'm hurt," Thurkow said.

The case is under investigation, police said. Anyone with information can call Crime Alert Berks County at 877-373-9913.