CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- Joe Stricker, the creator behind Stricker's Winter Wonderland in the south metro area, sent a Colorado news station surveillance video from his front yard Monday afternoon.
It showed two people apparently ripping out Christmas lights before eventually snatching a festive dinosaur and cramming it inside the back of a sedan and speeding off.
Thousands of people saw that video.
One of those people was a dad.
Not just any dad, but the father of one of the people shown in the video.
On Tuesday morning, Joe sent out an update.
That dad had seen the video on Facebook thanks to an older brother who alerted the out-of-state parent.
As soon as he saw it, he boarded a plane to Colorado and within four hours, Stricker says, eight people from two different families were on his doorstep, accepting responsibility for their actions alongside their "equally embarrassed and ashamed parents."
Joe wrote a message via Facebook Tuesday morning, saying in part,
"We thought about all the different options and we have two children of our own. It was hard, but these individuals were in their 20’s. If it wasn’t for social media and 9NEWS pushing them forward to confess, and they did it on their own, we would have just let it go. They had two days to come forward and they didn’t. It was absolutely tough for us to make that call. But, what example are we setting for our children?"
"The individuals were cited, not arrested, by our request, and they will have to go to court and pay fines. A very understandable and fair punishment agreed upon by both parties. We ended on great terms and we forgave them for their actions. It was very honorable for them to take full responsibility for their actions."
The Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office cited three people in connection with the vandalism and issued them summonses: a 27-year-old, a 22-year-old, and a 21-year-old.
One received a summons for theft. Another received a summons for theft, criminal mischief, second degree criminal tampering and third degree criminal trespass.
The third received a summons for theft, criminal mischief, and third degree criminal trespass, according to Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer Julie Brooks.
"I would have done the same if my kids made a mistake," Stricker wrote to 9NEWS. "We are only human and people make mistakes. But, there are always consequences for your actions."
"The big deciding factor for me and my wife to continue with the prosecution process was that they were in their twenties and not 16 years old," he wrote.
"Throughout this entire process the individuals were incredibly gracious, kind and completely understanding of our decision. They agreed that the right thing to do was to turn themselves in and take full responsibility for their actions," Stricker wrote.
"The individuals couldn’t believe the outpour on social media and the impact of their actions on the community. We can’t believe this outcome and are at a loss of words at the remorse of these individuals," he added.