Stolen decorations returned to Safety Harbor family

- Deputies say they tracked down the Grinch of a suspect who tried to steal Christmas from a home in Pinellas County.

And he was caught thanks to a FOX 13 New viewer. 

Michael Fitzjarrell, 30, is facing a charge of grand theft. According to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, Fitzjarrell admitted to stealing three inflatables from a family's yard in Safety Harbor on Saturday.

"It's disappointing that somebody would even think about taking Christmas decorations," said Cindy Meyer, the owner of the stolen decorations.

Meyer and her family decorated their front yard with nearly a dozen large Christmas inflatables around Thanksgiving. On Saturday, she woke up to find some of their inflatables were missing.

"Three of our inflatables, the cool ones, the shark, the dinosaur and the penguin beach island were all missing," said Meyers.

She reported the crime to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. Deputies took it seriously, bringing forensics to dust her decorations for fingerprints.

Meyers also contacted FOX 13, who aired pictures of her stolen property.

"A good Samaritan happened to see our missing shark with the Santa hat on, that person contacted us through FOX 13 and let us know that it had been located," said Meyers.

The inflatables were spotted on display in Fitzjarrell's front yard, just three miles from Meyers' home.

Deputies stopped by to question Fitzjarrell on Sunday about his decorations. They said he denied stealing the inflatables, but later admitted he was, "drunk" and "made a bad choice."

His bad decision left Meyers' children heartbroken.

"They insisted that I take them back out to Lowry Park Zoo to see Santa again, for the second time, because they wanted Santa to bring back Mommy's shark for Christmas," said Meyers.

Deputies returned the stolen decorations to Meyers' home.

Due to the high value of the inflatables, Fitzjarrell is facing a felony charge of grand theft.

Meyers said her family plans to take extra precaution moving forward by wiring down the inflatables, putting a lock on them and putting identifying marks on the bottom of each decoration, so she'll be able to prove she is the owner if they ever go missing again

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