Holiday decorations at Port Washington chocolate shop vandalized; community steps up to help

NOW: Holiday decorations at Port Washington chocolate shop vandalized; community steps up to help

PORT WASHINGTON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The owners of a Port Washington chocolate shop say they are overwhelmed at how many community members are stepping up to help after holiday decorations outside their store were vandalized.

"There were about 60 (Facebook) messages saying, 'How can we help?' The whole community stepped up and said, 'We can help decorate. We have lights. What can we do? We have ornaments. Can I bring my Boy Scout troop?'" said Elizabeth MacCrimmon, who owns the Chocolate Chisel with her husband.

MacCrimmon said Friday night between 10 and 10:30 p.m., someone destroyed the base of the Christmas tree outside the store, bent the tree in half and ruined her string of lights.

She said last week, a different Christmas tree was mangled and torn into pieces, but she and her husband let that go. But after the incident Friday, they decided to contact the police.

Surveillance video taken from inside the shop shows what appears to be three people vandalizing the decorations. But MacCrimmon said the glimpse was not enough for police to identify the people.

She posted about the experience on Facebook Saturday night and was surprised at the response from the community.

"I said, 'I'm so discouraged and disappointed. I don't know what to do.' I almost wanted to cry. And I went to bed and then I woke up and I checked Facebook," MacCrimmon said. "It was like the most awful thing turned into the most wonderful thing."

The owners of the Chocolate Chisel are inviting community members to help them re-decorate the outside of the store at 3:00 on Dec. 21. They will be able to decorate the cow benches outside the shop, put garland around the windows and decorate the trees. They are offering free hot chocolate to anyone who comes.

Port Washington police did not respond to CBS 58's request for comment.

Share this article: