WOODLAND (CBS13) – It’s a popular pirate ship that’s normally docked in front of a local home for Halloween; but this year the ship nearly sunk after it was thrashed by thieves.
The Halloween display is in Woodland at Cypress Drive and McKinley Avenue.
The party on a pirate ship may look impressive in the Woodland neighborhood, but it was far more of a sight for celebration until bad guys bashed the bow.
Tony Alves’ ship is now just a shell of what it was.
“Shattered the lamp, it was on the ground over there, tried ripping off the second one but they couldn’t,” Alves said describing the incident.
Wooden planks still stand, but most of what gave Alves’ masterpiece its character was thrashed by thieves.
“It’s like, ‘really? Come on.’ Do you now how much time and money? I do it for the kids,” said Alves.
“That’s just too bad. Tony really worked hard on that,” neighbor Barbara Landucci said.
They ripped up the sails that his mom carefully crafted, yanked off the head to his skeleton, and destroyed a couple lamps. It was $200 to $300 in damage; but for Alves, it’s not about the money, it’s about his spirit.
“Everyone loves it. That’s what I want to know, why,” said Alves.
Alves set sail on a voyage more than a decade ago to bring some sort of pirate’s booty to trick-or-treaters every Halloween.
“About 11 years ago, it started with me on the front porch in a cheesy Jack Sparrow costume and smoking cannon,” said Alves.
“He’s always done something different. This year he’s added more things. It’s evolving,” said neighbor Roger Landucci said.
Now he puts on a whole show in front of up to 3,000 people. All his skeletons come in costume and their treasure chests fill kids with joy. Delicate detail creates a scene sure to make captain Jack Sparrow proud.
“It’s for the kids,” said Alves. “I like kids. I’m a big kid.”
But vandals tore down what he spent four months to put up, haunting this neighborhood with a creepy, callous, and criminal act.
“It’s sad because a lot of people get enjoyment out of it,” said Roger.
Sorry thieves, but there’s no sinking this ship. Alves says his hopes for a happy Halloween will stay afloat and they still expect thousands to trick or treat in the neighborhood.
Alves filed a police report and his neighbors say they saw what looked like teenagers riding away in bikes Tuesday night after the vandalism.