Someone out there is a serious jerk when it comes to the holidays because apparently Benton Harbor has a 17 foot tall Santa Claus statue that has been stolen. Similar to the one we have in Downtown Kalamazoo, the statue was apparently stolen back in April and they have yet to find out who took it and where it is now. The Santa statue was broken down into pieces and stored in the old J.C. Penney building in the Orchards Mall.  Orchards Mall administrator Christina Castaneda believes that whoever took it must have been working in the mall.

In a quote she gave to WWMT, she explains her theory on the theft:
"We know that it would take a semi to meet with him, so it’s not something that was pulled off by some kids. That’s the sad part-- a lot of people grow up seeing the Santa, I’ve seen a lot of people saying that was how they knew Christmas was coming, you would see the Santa set up. It’s just a really unfortunate thing that he’s no longer here to continue those memories."

Stevensville, a town right next to Benton Harbor has their own 17 foot tall Santa, but President David Wenger was quick to refute that theirs is the Stolen Benton Harbor Santa:

I think it’s ridiculous to even think that it would be stolen and used in the city just a few minutes away. Physically, if you look at it, the gloves are green on this one. I believe the one in Benton Harbor that was at the mall had black gloves.

Please contact the city of Benton Harbor if you find the missing Santa. Here is a brief description:

*He's dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot, and his clothes are all tarnished with ashes and soot.
*A bundle of toys he has flung on his back, and he looks like a peddler just opening his pack.
*His eyes--how they twinkle!
*His dimples, how merry!
*His cheeks are like roses, his nose like a cherry!
*His droll little mouth is drawn up like a bow, and the beard on his chin is as white as the snow.
*He has a broad face and a little round belly, that shakes when he laughs, like a bowl full of jelly.

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