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Thief steals 10-foot nutcracker from Albuquerque home

Giant nutcracker statues are set as holiday decorations in front of an office building in New York, December 17, 2013. AFP PHOTO/Emmanuel Dunand (Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP via Getty Images)

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (KOAT) — It’s a tradition the Martinez family does during the holidays, creating over-the-top decorations for the neighborhood to enjoy.

“A lot of them cruised by every night to put their kids to bed and stuff to see our decorations,” said Christopher Martinez.

But this year, that joy was ruined after someone stole one of their decorations and the theft was caught on their home surveillance camera.

“Just felt like it ripped my heart out, you know,” Christopher saud. “I’ve been trying to get back into Christmas lately because my brother had passed a few years back. So I thought I’d give it another shot and get into Christmas this year.”

It was around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday when one of his cameras captured someone creeping onto their property and running away with a nutcracker he and his wife built.

“We use random things like pots. We use trash cans, anything that we could do to be creative,” said Janae Martinez.

The couple built two 10-foot nutcrackers and had them on display in their front yard.

One dressed like a fireman, because Christopher is a first responder in Belen.

“I go to work every day trying to help people, and then you see people come and take this away from me,” Christopher said.

The thief is spoiling the holiday for the family.

“You can’t let the Grinch steal your Christmas, though. I feel like you can’t let somebody take that spirit out of you,” Janae said.