Thief steals from Santa Claus
SOLVANG — Someone played Grinch on Saturday in Solvang, stealing two speakers and a generator from the bed of a pickup used to pull a trailer carrying Santa’s sleigh and reindeer throughout the Santa Ynez Valley.
Doug Riedy, aka Santa, said someone climbed a fence at Nielsen’s Lumber Yard in Solvang on Saturday night and broke into a shed housing the pickup and trailer. In addition to the speakers (used for Christmas music during Santa’s ride) and generator, they tore the wrapping off of some wrapped Christmas games that were sitting underneath Santa’s sleigh but ended up leaving them behind, Mr. Riedy told the News-Press Monday.
Kenny Anderson at Nielsen’s Lumber Yard and his sister spent thousands of dollars on gifts for children in Buellton, Solvang, Los Olivos, Ballard and Santa Ynez, Mr. Riedy said. Those gifts were not touched.
Mr. Riedy said Mr. Anderson had two other speakers and another generator untouched by the thieves that were used to continue playing Christmas music while Santa made his rounds of the different communities and handed out presents — including Beanie Babies, stuffed animals, footballs and soccer balls.
Mr. Anderson, however, was not so fortunate.
“Kenny lost $3,000 in equipment,” Mr. Riedy said. “We do a good thing for the community, and somebody wanted to disrupt this. He’s devastated.”
— Neil Hartstein
Buses collide, no injuries reported
SANTA MARIA – A school bus and a city of Santa Maria bus were involved in a very minor collision in front of Pioneer Valley High School shortly after 2 p.m. Monday, officials said.
No injuries were reported in the accident, said Kenny Klein, public information officer for the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District. Each bus ended up with a few minor scrapes.
The SMJUHSD bus at the time was transporting about 50 students to the west side of Santa Maria.
— Neil Hartstein