Hudson Valley 83-Year-Old ‘Heartbroken’ After Decorations Stolen
A 50-year-old tradition has been destroyed by thieves who targeted an elderly Hudson Valley man.
In 1972 Vincent Poloniak's daughter, Paula, asked him if they could have Christmas decorations on their house. Vincent obliged, carving a Santa and some reindeer out of wood, painting them and propping them up on the front lawn.
Since then, the display on Spanktown Road in Florida has grown larger and larger every year. A half-century later Poloniak now enlists help from his family and friends to tackle the five-week process of putting all those decorations up.
Poloniak's display on Spanktown Road has become a town tradition, bringing joy to generations of Hudson Valley residents. But, sadly, the homeowner's prized collection of Christmas decorations now appears to have been targeted by thieves.
Just after Christmas, Vincent was surveying his display when he noticed that some rare "blow mold" decorations were missing. The hollow plastic figures were popularized during the 1950s through the 1970s. Now, these vintage illuminated figures have become quite valuable. Collectors have been known to pay hundreds of dollars for these highly sought-after antiques.
On December 30 Poloniak noticed that figures of the Three Stooges and two choir singers were missing. The next day a blow mold of Santa riding a train had also disappeared. The Hudson Valley man's daughter, Paula, says that Vincent is heartbroken. The 83-year-old believes the thief knew exactly what they were doing by taking his rarest and most valuable pieces.
Security footage of the alleged thief has been shared by the Town of Warwick Police Department showing a man in a winter cap removing the decorations.
Authorities are asking anyone who may be able to identify this person to contact the Warwick Police Department's detective unit at (845) 986-5000.
As for Poloniak, he says he's very happy to have been able to bring joy to so many people over the past 50 years. This year, however, will be the last year for the display on Spanktown Road. The 83-year-old says that putting up and taking the lights and decorations has become just too time-consuming.
The Hudson Valley's Best Holiday Light Displays of 2022
Catch 13 Full Moons in 2023. Here's the Schedule...