Snow is on the ground and lights are on the building, but something is missing at Wagner's Body Works in West Seneca this Christmas.
A wooden Santa Claus that has been in the family for decades was stolen sometime over the weekend from the front of the store where it was hanging. Owner Marty Wagner says it doesn't have monetary value, but it means a lot to him.
"It's been in the family over 40, 45 years," he explained. "My dad's friend made it. Handmade."
The Santa decoration has already survived a car crash into the Wagner's old house, and was recently rescued from a garage sale pile. Marty saw that his mother was thinking of getting rid of it, and grabbed Santa to put him up at his business.
"It's been saved twice, now someone comes along and steals it. So hopefully three times is the charm, and they can get it back again," said West Seneca Police Officer Gregory Kinner.
Friends who heard about the Santa didn't want Marty to be without one while police searched. A friend of his mother's brought over a replacement Santa statue as an early Christmas present.
"It's been in her attic for awhile, not being used, so she thought of me and brought it over. It's great. Really warms my heart when somebody does something like that," said Wagner.
Still, he says, he'd like to have his old Santa back, and says if it's returned there will be no questions asked.
"It's not worth anything," Wagner said. "It's just sentimental, been in the family. Put it behind my building at night. I just want it back."
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of this Santa is asked to call detectives at 716-675-8423.