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SALT LAKE CITY — A popular neighborhood Halloween yard display is missing a key feature this year and the owner is hoping someone can help to find it and return it.
LeAnn Bollschweiler said an antique model airplane vanished earlier this month.
"Recently, I had a very emotional time with someone who came over my fence and stole an antique airplane that belonged to my brother," Bollschweiler said. "It was the last thing I had of my brother's."
Bollschweiler said her brother passed away 2 years ago and the relic had significant sentimental value.
"It meant a lot to me," Bollschweiler said. "It broke my heart. I almost didn't decorate because I was so devastated."
The 74-year-old said she has decorated each of the past 29 years. Every year, the display near Stratford Avenue and Elizabeth Street takes Bollschweiler about 60 hours to set up and features numerous skeletons, costumes, inflatables and 98 hand-carved foam pumpkins she worked on herself.
"I just couldn't let someone spoil that for me, even though it was hard," she said. "It was really hard, especially when I look out there and it's not there."
Signs now stand in the yard with a photo of the airplane and a message.
It broke my heart. I almost didn't decorate because I was so devastated.
"Thiefs took the only thing I had left of my brother's," the sign reads. "If you see it anywhere leave a note in the cauldron."
Bollschweiler said she reported the theft to police and was hoping someone out there might be able to find the airplane. She said a neighbor believed he spotted a gray and white, 1990s Dodge pick-up with a broken passenger window leaving the area with it.
She was pleading with anyone who knows of the airplane's whereabouts to return it or to call Salt Lake City Police dispatch at 801-799-3000.