Theft of gnome home leaves Camp Hill kids devastated

Carlisle/West Shore

CAMP HILL, Pa. (WHTM) — A Cumberland County family is asking for help after a heartbreaking theft.

A thief took a gnome belonging to kids and it’s taking a toll on the entire neighborhood.

If you look around one Camp Hill neighborhood, you’ll notice a lot of fairy gardens. There used to be one in Willow Park until weeds started growing, so Andrew Charland’s wife and daughter brought it home.

“(They) put it up against the tree and I don’t know if we were the first ones, but suddenly almost every house with a tree had a fairy garden in front,” Charland said.

That includes Kristen Shea’s house. Her kids got a special addition to theirs when a friend donated a gnome home.

“They fell in love with it. They made it their army hangout place to watch over their herds of dinosaurs and so forth,” Shea said.

They only had it out a week or two when she noticed one morning it was gone.

“My daughter wanted to call 911 immediately and my son wanted to look for clues as to who may have taken it, hunt them down type of thing,” Shea said.

Instead, they made a sign asking for someone to return it which reads “Our fairies are sad. Our Dinosaurs are mad. Our gnomes are homeless. Please return our gnome home so our hearts won’t be broken!”

“It took him 20 hours just to build it and it was a gift that was something that meant a lot more than if it was something that we could just go buy and replace,” Shea said.

Her neighbors were upset.

“I was kind of surprised that someone would even do that,” Charland said.

So they pitched in to help rebuild.

“My neighbors across the street gave us some gnomes to put in the garden as a way of condolences I guess,” Shea said. “We had some from up the street gave a little house as well.”

Neighborhood kids even made a corral for the dinosaurs.

“It was really sweet that the community kind of came together to show their love and support for the kids that had something taken from them,” Shea said.

If you took the gnome home or know who did, all Shea wants is to have it back, no questions asked.

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