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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Wailuku community wants Santa figure back

Maui News

WAILUKU Wailuku Community Association members want the community to help them find the "Grinch" that stole their Santa Claus.

The Wailuku Santa stands about 5 feet tall and rests on a black base. He has a red-and-white hat, beard and black boots. He was last seen near the bottom of the banyan at Wailuku's Banyan Tree Park.

Earlier this month, in celebration of the holidays, a Santa mannequin was put at the park near the intersection of Vineyard and North Market streets in Wailuku. But on Friday, in broad daylight, he went missing.

"Santa was put there for the enjoyment of the children. But some selfish person or people stole Santa," said John "Stan" Rippy, a member of the association, who donated the Santa several years ago to the organization.

Before the theft of Santa, people had been coming to the park and taking photos with it, Rippy said.

On Friday, Rippy drove by and saw Santa where he was supposed to be in the park's banyan tree, but when he came back 20 minutes later, the jolly mannequin was gone.

Police have been notified, Rippy said.

Anyone with information may call Maui police at 244-6400.