The Christmas Tree and 4-foot-tall Santa figure have been perched atop the concrete hopper at Mohr Concrete, 915 S. Maple Ave. since 1957, making them “a local landmark,” according to the concrete company’s website.
“Henry ‘Bud’ Mohr, never took them down, leading to them becoming part of our tradition,” the Mohr website notes.
But Santa has mysteriously been missing since last week, according to Oak Park police. They report that the figure was stolen sometime between 8 p.m. on May 22 and 8 a.m. the next day. The estimated loss is $100.
Karen Richards, a principal of Mohr & Sons, said in a telephone interview that it might be an inside job, but she can’t be sure. Asked if there is a reward out for Santa, Richards laughed, saying, “We could give them 10 bucks or something.”
She said this is not the first time Santa was stolen. Over 20 years ago someone made off with Kris Kringle and even sent a ransom note. Mohr didn’t pay the ransom and Santa was later returned, said Richards, noting that they’re hoping to find video of the theft, but no leads as of yet. “I’m just upset because he’s gone. It’s part of the thing here,” she said.
The incident comes a little over a month after Wednesday Journal reported that the longtime concrete company ceased selling concrete — they’re only open by appointment for other items like mortar mix, stucco supplies, stone and sewer construction supplies.
Those with information about the Grinch who perpetrated this can contact Mohr Concrete at 708-383-4611. Residents also can contact police at 708-386-3800. Anonymous tips can be provided by calling 708-434-1636 or online at www.oak-park.us/crimetip.