Stolen holiday decor recovered |

Stolen holiday decor recovered

Not long had news spread of the theft of a Grass Valley’s man’s revered holiday decorations, when a visiting tourist spotted the family heirlooms next to a Dumpster behind a business.

“I thought ‘Those look just like those candy canes in the article,’” said Franz Lattka, a retired Susanville teacher visiting Grass Valley with his wife.

Lattka said he had read an article in The Union that was accompanied by a picture of Charles Williams’ illuminated, 3-foot tall, decorative candy canes.

“It is the best thing in the world to have them back without being damaged,” Williams said. “I am relieved and thankful.”

Those same decorative candy canes had once belonged to Williams’ father, which he bought while raising Williams in Grass Valley.

Williams was at home (which was featured in The Union’s holiday decoration listing last year) when a car pulled up to his house at approximately 9 p.m. Wednesday in the 600 block of South Auburn St. and nabbed the candy canes, then drove off in a pearl white Chrysler 300 series with chrome wheels but no tinted windows, he said.

The alleged perpetrators were described as high school-aged teens, Williams said.

“They probably saw it in the paper and felt guilty and dumped them behind that place,” Lattka said.

Lattka and his wife were leaving B&C True Value hardware store and noticed the canes next to a Dumpster behind Asian Garden, located at 2074 Nevada City Highway. Lattka called The Union, who notified Williams and he retrieved the candy cane decorations.

“I’m hoping the guy has a merry Christmas,” Lattka said of Williams.

Williams is not dissuaded by the theft, he said, and plans to secure his lawn decorations from thieves.

“You didn’t get away because this small town talks,” Williams said. “I don’t think they are going to come back. I’m not going to stop (decorating).”

To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email or call (530) 477-4236.

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