H-SAN LUIS OBISPO

Dec 26, 2012 9:53 PM by Connie Tran, KSBY News

Santa's House in SLO vandalized on Christmas Eve

It's the season of joy and cheer, but on Christmas Eve morning, the San Luis Obispo Downtown Association experienced a devastating moment. The organization said vandals broke into Santa's House at the Mission Plaza and disheveled the interior of the house.

"I love Christmas, I love Santa, I love giving," said Sarah Ragan, the Promotions Coordinator for SLO Downtown Assocation.

Ragan gives back to the community she grew up in, by organizing Santa's House for SLO.

She said, "I spend six months working really hard to make this house great for the kids and the community, and the downtown businesses."

Santa's House is a place for people of all ages to visit Santa, take a photo with him, and share with him a Christmas wish. That is what 3rd grade student Lauren Jamison said.

"He asked me, 'what do you want for Christmas?', and I'm like, 'I want an iPad', and I got an iPad!" said Jamison.

So when Ragan walked into Santa's House on the morning of Christmas Eve, she was shocked to find the place tore up. She said tears rushed to her eyes immediately.

"This door right here was wide open. The podium, which is our photo center, where we upload all of our photos, where we have our printer and all of our printing supplies and such, was on it's side," said Ragan.

She also said the Christmas tree was on the floor, and there were several broken ornaments.

Ragan said, "to come and have someone harm it, or destroy it, is very personal to me."

The damage also leaves unanswered questions for the little ones.

"Why do people do that to his house? Like, he has nothing to do with it. He didn't do anything to that person!" said Jamison.

Ragan said the mess was cleaned up in time for visitors to take pictures with Santa on Christmas Eve day, which was the final day for Santa's House. The damage to the house is expected to cost the SLO Downtown Association up wards to $1,000. They said they plan on installing surveillance cameras in the house next year.

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