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Arbutus community works to keep Christmas spirit alive after Santa House vandalized

Posted at 10:40 PM, Nov 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-12 23:24:55-05

ARBUTUS, Md. — The Arbutus Santa House was vandalized twice this fall. Baltimore County Police officers are investigating the vandalism.

They said the vandalism first happened in October and then happened again on either November 3 or November 4.

Mark Nettleship is the President of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the International Brotherhood of the Real Bearded Santa’s. He's been bringing joy to families in Arbutus for 30 years and was devastated when he walked up and saw the Santa House damaged.

He was so upset he didn't take any pictures, just got right to work fixing the damage.

"This window here, the frame of the window was busted up to here. Same way on this window here and the windows were open," said Nettleship. When he went inside he saw broken candles and holes in the walls.

"We have a couple of wreathes. We have some smaller ones there," he said. "We had some bigger ones hung up outside they were all smashed, crushed on the floor and broken in half. We had some lighted reindeer. They were 100 bucks, 150 bucks a piece. They were all smashed heads ripped off of them. All the bulbs were broke. Just total vandalism and I don’t understand why."

Thanks to help from the community, they're getting ready for opening day on November 30. They still have some painting to do and are adding cameras so it doesn't happen again, or if it does, they'll know who did it.

"It’s a shame. It breaks my heart to know that I grew up here in this neighborhood and now we’re in these times where we have to have security to protect the Santa House that’s been here for the community for 30 plus years," said Nettleship.

A tradition that will continue in the community no matter what. If you want to help the Santa House, you can drop off donations to Arbutus Town Hall at 1349 Stevens Ave, Baltimore, MD 21227.

If you know anything about the vandalism, call Baltimore County Police.