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Decatur Woman Asks, Who Would Steal My Skeleton?

Nancy Wilkinson, famous in Decatur for her holiday home decorations, says a young woman swiped a life-sized skeleton off her front porch Monday. Last month somebody took an Abraham Lincoln cutout. Now she's rethinking her decorating plans.

Nancy Wilkinson says grinches are stealing her holiday decorations--and her good spirits.

Wilkinson, known around Decatur for going all out to decorate her house on Adair Street for Halloween, Christmas and other holidays, said a young woman stole a life-sized medical skeleton Monday afternoon.

"This was bold," she said in an email. "The woman pulled into our driveway and ran up on the porch. Susan (her partner) saw her come up and was heading for the door when she saw the woman dash down the stairs with the skeleton. She banged on the windows and yelled, but the thief kept moving. Shoved the skeleton into the car and took off."

Last month, she put a cut-out of Abraham Lincoln in front of the house for Abe's Feb. 12 birthday along with a group of monkeys and dinosaurs out front for Darwin Day. She planned to leave him until Presidents Day but realized Abe was gone Feb. 23.

In an email, Wilkinson said she's reconsidering how big to go with her decorations now.

Right now, I'm uncertain whether I'll celebrate St. Patrick's Day this year. I know that these decorations could not possibly have much re-sale value, so it's hard to understand what this mean-spirited person is up to. I kind of thought when Abe disappeared that it might have been some party-goers wandering by who got it into their heads to take the president along on some drunken adventure.

But the skeleton theft was planned and in broad daylight. It really bothers me because the skeleton was a Christmas gift from my partner - she went out of her way to find me a gift that she knew I'd love even though my crazy hobby sometimes takes over our house and our schedule.

Wilkinson says some small items have been taken in the past, probably by unsupervised children. She says the Decatur police responded promptly and understood the problem was the boldness of the theft, not the value of the stolen items (though the skeleton cost $225).

For more information about Wilkinson's decorating hobby, visit her Facebook page.

Other Patch stories about Nancy Wilkinson.

  • Decatur Woman Goes All Out For Holiday Decorations
  • City Names Winners in Decorating Contest
  • See Photos of Wilkinson's Halloween Decorations
Decaturette March 12, 2013 at 03:04 PM
It would be a shame to lose a wonderful community asset like this because of vandalism. Maybe the community could chip in for a surveillance camera? To the thief: Please return the skeleton ASAP. Believe me, anyone who sees the skeleton now is going to be thinking--"Could that be the one I read about on the Decatur Patch?" Holding on to that skeleton is not a smart idea.
Tomathy March 12, 2013 at 03:34 PM
Do you have a description of the car/suspect?
Ralph Ellis March 12, 2013 at 05:25 PM
Here is the description Nancy put on her FB page: "The thief is a White woman, blond chignon, mid to late twenties, average height and weight, green/brown slacks with white tucked in blouse, driving a light grey semi-sporty late model car."
Susan Phillips March 12, 2013 at 05:28 PM
This is Susan, Nancy's partner. From what I could tell, she was a blonde with hair pulled back, Caucasian female, maybe mid-twenties to early thirties. Average size and weight and neatly dressed. Car was a light gray semi-sporty late model.
steve dewig March 12, 2013 at 09:19 PM
Drop me a note if you lay out some blow-up dolls on your front lawn.
Ms. March 13, 2013 at 01:49 AM
I don't know who took it. I do know that I drive by Nancy's house on special occasions to see the decor, and it ALWAYS makes me smile. Christmas is fantastic there. Her house is a jewel, and though I've never met her, I'm sure she is too. Hope they find him, or her.
Laura B March 13, 2013 at 01:52 AM
Possibly an Emory student...they are all about skeletons this time of year. Hate to say that about my alma mater, but it wouldn't surprise me at all.
Fauxcohontas March 13, 2013 at 01:43 PM
thief probably got tired of all that junk out in the yard all the time bringing down the whole neighborhood. No one wants to see skeletons and other junk in your yard, try doing your part ot uphold the social compact
Yo March 13, 2013 at 02:58 PM
As a homeowner in the neighborhood, we LOVE "all that junk" in the yard, and appreciate the humor and spirit of the decorations, year round. Our children think this lady is magical, and anxiously await to see what is coming next. I know they will hold memories of her holiday decorations, and our joy in watching to see what's coming next, in all their holiday memories. Shame on the thief, and hope she returns the skeleton. Don't let the bad apples get you down, Nancy. PS to Fauxcohontas - If you prefer to live in an area where there are CCRs in place restricting property owners from, say, decorating how they like, there *is* a place for you! The suburbs are full of lovely subdivisions where creativity is discouraged, uniformity is king, and the social compact is in writing.
Mosososo March 13, 2013 at 03:35 PM
most people really dont want to see that eyesore. These "Decorating Divas" never have any formal training, lack any esthetic eye, and are usually just mentally ill like on Hoarders
Susan Phillips March 13, 2013 at 04:17 PM
Negative, angry and judgmental people are just as bad as thieves. They steal the creativity and humor out of life.
Susan Phillips March 13, 2013 at 04:19 PM
At least have the decency to post your real name.
Yo March 13, 2013 at 04:23 PM
Too bad! You may not like how your neighbors decorate, mow their lawn, lay out in swimsuits, etc., but (1) it's their right to do with their property how they wish so long as they don't violate the city code or any other law; and (2) it doesn't justify theft, destruction, or any other passive-aggressive act. Like I said above, if you want to live in a place where everyone agrees on decorating rules, move off a city street and into a nice subdivision. Although I dispute that "most people" would agree with you about Nancy's house, "most people" aren't in charge of what I do with my lawn, or what you do with yours.
Keith M. March 13, 2013 at 06:14 PM
On Monday somebody hit my car on Emerson so hard they pushed it over the curb, of course no note was left. coincidence?
Kathie Gannon March 13, 2013 at 08:06 PM
Nancy and Susan, I for 1 love each holiday to see what will inspire you to add to the collection from previous year. I am always saddened to hear when someone has so little respect for themself or what their mother taught them to not just infringe upon your rights and our enjoyment but to steal; pretty low to the bottom of any social compact. Please don't give up. Let the rest of us try to be more vigilant, might help. Thank you for your contribution to the neighborhood. Kathie Gannon
Sally Dorn March 13, 2013 at 11:00 PM
This makes me sad. I am always interested in what will be in Nancy's yard. The decorations make me smile and every kid I know loves them. It is unfortunate that people feel they have the right to take whatever they want. I did have two blowups that were destroyed when I believe passing drinkers decided to engage in fistfights with Sponge Bob and Santa. I chalked that up to drunken exuberance. Theft though is an entirely different matter. I hope Nancy and Susan will continue the displays and perhaps all of us neighbors on Adair can keep a closer watchful eye on their yard. Sally Dorn
Michael Goettee March 14, 2013 at 03:33 AM
The naughty little boy still left in me wants to see you set up a trap of some sort, with cameras, or something and post the results all over the web. Then we could enjoy watching the outcome. Thieves and haters: YEP, same ilk.
Nancy Wilkinson March 15, 2013 at 01:38 AM
Thanks for the support, neighbors. It's good to hear from you. Michael, I'm working on a theft deterrent plan and I promise I'll share any video that results. I'm trying not to visualize the thief playing a major role in a particularly gory Halloween scene. But mostly because I don't do gory and she'd totally ruin the vibe of our neighborhood holiday celebration. The best part about my hobby is getting to know my neighbors as so many of you stop by to chat or bring your kids by to check out the latest decorations.
Diane Loupe March 18, 2013 at 12:09 PM
I'm so proud to be a neighbor of Nancy Wilkinson, and we LOVE her passion and her yard art. If you want a sterile, manicured front lawn dotted with meatball-shaped hedges, move somewhere else!!!
eric brown March 19, 2013 at 01:29 AM
social compact, interesting. a social compact is a term not used since the 1850's,except when talking about finances.is nancy's yard taking your money? these days we have a social contract, virtually the same thing, but have fun with your Hobbes. a social contract is: 'an agreement, entered into by individuals, that results in the formation of the state or of organized society, the prime motive being the desire for protection'. are you of scared nancy's skeleton? do you want me to protect you from it? a social contract also says, under said contract, we can: 'regulate the relations among its members'. you seem to be in the minority. so, would you like for those of us that love nancy to tell you what you can do? you're just a bully or troll (same thing) and if you don't like our neighborhood, feel free to move.

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