Hermey the Elf and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer were recovered on Wednesday by the Fresno HEAT team, four days after they disappeared from the lawns of the family that has displayed them as a part of the annual festive lighting of the road.
Great news! Hermey & Rudolf we’re found by @FresnoSheriff HEAT team. They received a tip on a wanted felon near this vacant home where the decorations were found. @ABC30 I’ve edited two of the pictures because thieves taped his hand to make a rude gesture. pic.twitter.com/Rt9PaxUyN9— Vanessa Vasconcelos (@VanessaABC30) December 12, 2018
The decorations were found at an address in Shields Avenue and will be returned to the owners soon, said Tony Botti of the Fresno County Sheriff's Office.
Hermey and Rudolph were yanked from the lawn of the Gallagher family. Rudolph was a store-bought decoration, but Dan Gallagher made Hermey by hand to spread the happiness of the holidays.
The two pieces were recovered as detectives were chasing down a wanted felon near Mariposa and Shields.
As they retraced their steps looking for weapons he may have been trying to get rid of, they spotted Hermey and Rudolph in the back of an abandoned home.
Detectives say they are happy to return the items to the owner in good condition, despite Hermey's hand being taped to make an offensive gesture.
"They are relatively intact, a few modifications," said Detective Tim Herzon.
The suspect investigators were initially after is Kristopher Cartozian.
He was wanted on a felony burglary warrant.
Cartozian says he did not know anything about the stolen Christmas decor.