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article imageVandals destroy displays at Bronner's CHRISTmas Wonderland

By Cynthia Trowbridge     Dec 27, 2010 in Crime
Frankenmuth - In the early morning hours on Christmas Day vandals struck the world's largest Christmas store's outside display. The damaged pieces included carolers, nutcrackers, lighted and wire-framed displays and a manger scene where the baby Jesus is now missing.
Bronner's CHRISTmas Wonderland is located in Frankenmuth, Michigan. Founded in 1945 by Wally Bonner it is now the worlds largest Christmas store. The inside of the store is the size of 1.7 football fields and the building is the size of 5.5 football fields and sits on 27 acres. There are more than 2 million visitors annually from all over the world that enjoy the over 50,000 trims and gifts for all seasons that are for sale.
Bronner's motto is "Enjoy CHRISTmas, It's HIS Birthday; Enjoy Life, It's HIS Way."
Bronner's has a half mile Christmas Lane with spectacular Christmas lights and displays. Near each entrance is a life size Nativity scene.
A family member of Bronners called police around 8 a.m. Christmas morning to report extensive vandalism that had been done to the many displays on the property. There were 75 pieces destroyed worth an estimated $40,000 according to Bronner’s vice president Maria Sutorik.
The damaged pieces included carolers, nutcrackers, lighted and wire-framed displays and a manger scene where the baby Jesus is now missing.
Mlive.com reports Sutorik said, “It always hurts the hardest to see a manger scene damaged.”
She also said, "The nutcracker was broken off at his knees.The donkey was missing his ears. Pieces were overturned.”
Some of the pieces can be repaired but others will have to be replaced mostly by reasonable facsimiles of the originals.
Sutorik said, “We had some that I remember from the 1970s. The carolers were the oldest pieces. I’m not sure if they produce the same ones anymore.”
Police believe there were two people involved in the vandalism. UpNorthLive.com reports MSP K-9 Trooper Steve Escott and his K-9 from the Michigan State Police tracked the suspects on the property until it is believed they entered a vehicle that was parked in the parking lot.
Bronners is offering a reward for information leading to the prosecution of the people responsible.
Anyone who has information about this is asked to call Detective Randy Flathau of the Frankenmuth Police Department at 989.652.3430 Ext. 160 or the FPD general number 989.652.8371 during business hours (Monday thru Friday 9:00 to 4:00). .
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