Fall display in Pike Road neighborhood vandalized

Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 8:51 PM CDT
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PIKE ROAD, Ala. (WSFA) - A fun fall tradition in the town of Pike Road has become a cause for confusion for one neighborhood after vandals destroyed their outdoor decoration.

Every year, neighborhoods, businesses and organizations in Pike Road decorate hay bales and display them in their front yards. It’s all for the Hay, Look at Us! contest, a friendly competition among neighbors to see whose hay bale is decorated best.

You wouldn’t know it by looking at the scene Monday, but Curley Thomas and his family spent hours decorating their hay bale that sits right outside their Freeport Estates neighborhood.

“Unfortunately, this Saturday night someone came along and they vandalized the display, which we were very proud of because we put a lot of money, time and effort into it,” Thomas said.

Thomas said they spent around $600-$700 of their own money on the project, and that it was the best hay bale they’d decorated yet.

Image of the Freeport Estates neighborhood hay bale before it was destroyed.
Image of the Freeport Estates neighborhood hay bale before it was destroyed.(source: Curley Thomas)

“It was just an unfortunate situation that they picked this one to vandalize and tear up. There are plenty of other projects all up and down Vaughn Road and in other neighborhoods but they only tore up this one,” Thomas said.

According to Pike Road Mayor Gordon Stone, there are 55 hay bales that have been decorated for this year’s contest. This display is the only one that was vandalized.

“We’ve been doing this a long time, and we’ve have never had one vandalized before,” Stone said. “We know this particular hay bale’s on one of the busiest highways in Pike Road, and there are lots of people that go by there, so we don’t really know what the motivation may be, but anybody that would do this, it’s just wrong.”

The Freeport Estates neighborhood has filed a police report with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. Officers responded to the scene Sunday to gather information. So far, no one is in custody, and the department is still investigating.

As for Thomas, he said they plan to rebuild the display, this time with the proper surveillance system in place. He encourages others in the community to be on the lookout.

“We just want to bring awareness to it. There’s nothing that we want to gain other than people being aware that this is what happened after all the effort and time and money being spent and put into that,” Thomas said.

The Montgomery County Sheriffs Office said they don’t have any reason to believe at this point in the investigation that this was a targeted act.

If you have any information that could help investigators find who is responsible, call 334-832-4980.

According to Tony Garrett with Central Alabama CrimeStoppers, law enforcement sees an increase in pranks, vandalism, theft and burglary starting in October. It is important to defend yourself before would be criminals target you as a victim.

CrimeStoppers offers the following tips:

  • Don’t post on social media until you’re back home. Weekend getaways, football game tailgating, and posting your kids or pets in their costumes on Facebook of them at a party across town let criminals know your house is empty and a prime target.
  • Clear your car of any valuables. Don’t forget to remove anything you don’t want to lose from your car, especially if it’s not parked in a garage.
  • Keep your doors and windows locked, even when you’re home. It’s easy to forget to lock your door after you’ve just finished handing candy out to a group of little monsters. But that also makes it just as easy for a burglar to slip in when you’ve stepped away later.
  • Move valuables out of sight. If trick-or-treaters can spot your flat-screen TV from your doorway, so can a burglar.
  • Use a door viewer before opening your door. Always demand identification from strangers (even repair or salespersons).
  • Shop and travel with a friend.  There is always safety in numbers.  If you can’t travel with a friend, tell someone or leave a note for loved ones especially if you are meeting someone new.

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