ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) — The Grinch apparently was in St. Joseph months before Christmas.

City officials say thieves broke into the storage units where a South Pole holiday lighting display is stored, apparently in search of copper.

Parks superintendent Jeff Atkins told The St. Joseph News-Press he found out about the theft Wednesday but it likely happened one to two weeks ago.

Atkins says the thieves took 11 500-foot spools of 12-gauge copper wire used to power the light displays. They also took three fiberglass ladders. Fortunately, the nearly 100,000 lights were left behind.

The funding for the holiday display comes mostly from donations to the Optimist Club, with other groups assisting. The city staff sets up the lights and provides maintenance and security.

Atkins says the display will be ready for Christmas.

© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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