UPDATE: With the support of the community, Julia was able to purchase a new unicorn.
That’s not all the community is doing to help bring back the holiday cheer. Hampton Roads neighbors are expected to stop by this weekend to bring in more new decorations.
In a new video, Julia thanks everyone who helped bring some joy back this Christmas.
PORTSMOUTH, Va. — A video of 9-year-old Julia Chappell is breaking hearts in the community. In the cellphone video, she says her favorite Christmas decoration, an inflatable unicorn she bought two years ago, was stolen.
“An evil, I mean an evil woman or man stole my unicorn which I paid for with my own money,” Julia Chappell said in the video.
The cellphone video was posted on the Nextdoor app over the weekend. One person’s comment read, “The Grinch once broke a little one’s heart. It’s really unfortunate.”
Shiquera Chappell, Julia’s mother said her daughter was extremely hurt and sad. “She definitely loves her unicorn because she spent her own money on it,” Shiquera Chappell said.
Shiquera Chappell said a large reindeer decoration was also stolen from their lawn in their Prentis Park area of Portsmouth.
“We put the pegs in the ground so he wouldn’t fly away and he escaped anyway,” she laughed.
News 3 asked her baby girl how she was feeling. “Crazy. Very angry,” Julia Chappell said with a chuckle.
Another reindeer was not taken as he was tied to the porch. “We weren’t thinking about the real-life Grinches,” Shiquera Chappell laughed.
The two large decorations were apparently torn down by someone less than 24 hours after putting them up on Sunday.
Photos from the house’s ring camera captured the timestamp. This shows that the Christmas decorations were there when Julia left for school in the morning and by afternoon they were gone.
Chappell said the cheeky thief was careful to stay out of the camera frame, adding that it happened in broad daylight when she was at home.
“I feel violated because it’s so close to your front door,” she said. “People really come into your property and just take things that don’t belong to them and they can clearly see that it was a child’s decoration. So that’s sad. It really is.”
Chappell posted the video on Nextdoor showing his daughter’s shock and pain and to warn his neighbors of a Christmas Grinch. Shortly after posting, she said two women donated money so Julia could buy a new unicorn.
A neighbor donated $100 with a comment that read, “Keep your mind nice and your attitude positive.
The video garnered dozens of comments and likes in a short time. “I didn’t think he would get as much love as he did,” Chappell said. “It got a lot of attention.”
Grinch or not, hope for a little girl in the Christmas spirit is slowly returning.
“Buy another unicorn,” said Julia Chappell.
His mother added: “We will do our best. I hope we can find one.
Julia hopes she has some money left. “Maybe $1 so I can buy more candy,” she said with a smile.
This incident was not the first time the family had had items stolen from their lawn. Since moving to the neighborhood eight months ago — not even a full year — Chappell said two of her lawn mowers were stolen from the backyard and the chain lock on the fence was cut. .
The family is now planning to move.