The tree lights had frayed wires and missing bulbs. The damage is estimated to be about $1,000.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A Philadelphia neighborhood is searching for a real-life Grinch after someone vandalized the community Christmas tree a day after the lighting ceremony.
"It's a shame," said Louis Izzi.
"It was quick," Carley Schwab said talking to a customer at I Knead Coffee. "I mean kids hang out at the park constantly."
Workers say that someone cut the lights on the tree at the Bridesburg Recreation Center on Richmond Street sometime after dark on Sunday.
"It's just ridiculous because it's a small group, of we think middle school ages like 13-15 in there somewhere, looking for something to do," said Jackie DeSanctis, better known as Miss Jackie to neighbors.
She's worked and volunteered at the rec center for decades.
"I noticed when I came in yesterday that a whole bunch of lights were all in one bunch," she said.
Then she found frayed wires and missing bulbs. The damage is estimated to be about $1,000. It lead her to believe a real-life Grinch had hit Bridesburg, a day after the tree-lighting ceremony.
"There were tons of kids out there, the tree looked beautiful and we had a great time at the event so it's a shame so quickly that it's changed," said Schwab.
Now, neighbors feel robbed of their holiday cheer.
"It's a disgrace. I mean, these kids were probably there when everybody lit the tree up and this happens? it's a disgrace," said Izzi.
They're all searching for a reason why.
"I don't understand why anybody would want to destroy a Christmas tree," said Harris.
Miss Jackie said a neighbor has reached out to her about buying new lights for the tree.
The owner of Cailey's Kitchen down the street also said she'd cater Christmas dinner for anyone who can help identify the culprits.