Arrest made after Christmas display destroyed at TMT Farms in Bu - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Arrest made after Christmas display destroyed at TMT Farms in Bulloch County

(L to R: Autumn Evans, Zachary Smith) (Source: Bulloch County Sheriff's Office) (L to R: Autumn Evans, Zachary Smith) (Source: Bulloch County Sheriff's Office)

(UPDATE): An arrest has been made in the criminal damage to property case at Thompson Farms on Old River Road in Bulloch County.

On Dec. 26, 2017, Roy Thompson went to the sheriff’s office to file a criminal complaint after finding approximately $2,500 worth of Christmas decorations damaged and destroyed.

During the investigation, several individuals were identified as being on the property during the time of the destruction, but it was determined that all did not participate in the damaging of the property.

Warrants were issued for the arrest of Autumn Evans, 17, from Chatham County and Zachary Smith, 20, from Liberty County.

Evans was arrested and has since bonded on the charge.

The Chatham County Sheriff's Office arrested Smith in Savannah. He will be transported to the Bulloch County Jail later Thursday evening. 

Vandals took out part of a Bulloch County family's holiday tradition - a tradition that they open to everyone. 

Someone took a knife to one inflatable at TMT Farms that belonged to one of the Thompsons' grandchildren. That kind of mean-spiritedness almost has the Thompsons thinking twice about letting so many people onto their property each night. 

The light display at TMT Farms attracts thousands of guests every night of the Christmas season, but one carload of visitors Tuesday night decided to leave their mark. 

"It's actually heartwrenching. My question is why? I could maybe understand it if I knew why," Roy Thompson said. 

They smashed mannequins and sliced an inflatable deer. Roy says this vandalism struck a nerve. 

"My wife and I took our granddaughter to pick a blow-up to go by her tree. The part that gets me is they picked that blowup," he said. 

Since Tuesday night, two motorcycle groups have offered to walk around and provide security. They Thompsons have offered a $500 reward for information that leads to an arrest. Roy shudders to think that something that started as a celebration of Christmas has drawn this kind of behavior. 

"There's a picture over on our wall of Erk Russell. His favorite saying was 'Do Right.' That's all we want," Roy said. 

He is encouraged by the people contacting him with shows of support, and urging him not to abandon the holiday tradition. 

"It would be so easy to just flip the breakers and throw everything off right now, but we're not going to do that," he said. 

One big reason he won't close is the tons of food and toy donations that come in each night that they distribute to needy families. 

"Mad? Yes. Turn it off? No, I'm not. Next year? It's a long time 'til next year."

You might remember last year, someone stole some of the toys donated. People rallied then to replace the toys. Thomspon says he's not asking anybody to buy them a new inflatable, but he hopes people who come to visit between now and Wednesday night will keep their eyes open and report anyone doing something like this. 

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