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In children’s book lore, there is “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.”

Now in Seymour Apple Festival lore, there is “The Thief Who Stole The Festival’s P.A. System.”

It appears that between Friday afternoon and late Monday morning, a thief or thieves broke into Unit 34 at Seymour Storage, located just behind the south side of the city square, and took the portable public-address system used for many decades at the Seymour Apple Festival.

The storage unit is owned by the Seymour Merchants’ Association, sponsor of the local festival, a community event since 1973.

“There’s no doubt the P.A. system has been stolen,” said Grady Bennett, general chairman of the festival. “Once the issue was discovered, the Seymour Police Department was contacted. (Sgt.) Chase Davis came to the scene, where he discovered several pieces of our locks that had been cut.”

Bennett said that by talking to festival volunteers who had accessed the unit recently, the time window of the theft is from last Friday evening until Monday morning.

“I have no idea what someone wants to do with a decade-old public-address system that’s fairly large, but the fact is that we need it for the festival, so it’s going to cost us money to replace it,” Bennett explained.

“It’s just such a senseless crime.”

The P.A. system was used for many festival events, such as Thursday’s pet show and Saturday’s apple-peeling contest for adults and youth, among many others.

Anyone with information about the theft is urged to contact the local police department. Davis is in charge of the ongoing investigation.

If the system isn’t recovered, Bennett said festival planners will adjust.

“We can piece together something that will get us by this year,” he said. “There are enough components available from the Seymour Nazarene Church that they are willing to let us borrow for us to get by and have something that we will be able to use.”

In the interim, Davis said he’s working several leads on the case.

“The thief or thieves left evidence, and I’m confident that there are a few people around here who know exactly what happened,” Davis said.

“I would suggest that anyone who knows something needs to find me as soon as possible. It’s pretty low to break into the storage unit of an organization that brings thousands of dollars into our town, then turns around and donates thousands more throughout our community. It’s about like robbing a church or food bank. That P.A. system has little value to anyone except the group that owns it.”

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