PURVIS, MS (WDAM) - The Christmas lights could be off for good after criminals targeted a popular holiday display in Lamar County.
Deborah Lewis said her family discovered seven electrical wires were cut on the property over the weekend. Lewis said the thief, or thieves, stole thousands of feet of wire, which had copper in it, from the display.
"They came prepared to steal. They took wire cutters, cut the lines, pulled them out," Lewis said. "They took whatever they could get their hands on without getting extremely close to the house."
The Lewis Family first put up the display in 1989 on White Chapel Road in Purvis. It's grown to 200,000 lights over the years, with an estimated 35,000 people stopping by each holiday.
"People visit it for free every year, we do not charge," said Lewis. "Someone comes along and basically destroys the lights, put a stop to it. At this point, they've put a stop to the show."
Lewis said her mother created the wires and the family has continued to expand the display each year. But, with that wiring stolen, it means the electricity to most of the display has been cut off and needs to be re-wired.
"This is not a quick fix, run new wires, run new plugs," Lewis said. "It's so heartbreaking and there's so much damage that has been done to the display."
She said the family is overwhelmed with the outpouring of support from the community, but right now they are focused on figuring out exactly how much damage has been done and what could be a possibility moving forward.
"It's a massive loss, both emotionally, financially, to the community, to everybody. It's a major, major loss," Lewis said. "It's so bad honestly, we don't know if we'll be able to continue, that's how devastated we are."
If you have any information about this incident, please contact the Lamar County Sheriff's Department.