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Stolen Christmas salmon returned to owners

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Posted: Saturday, December 8, 2012 12:54 pm | Updated: 12:54 pm, Tue Dec 11, 2012.

The elusive Christmas salmon has found its way home.

Mike Costello was getting ready Thursday for a day on the Delta, where he works as a fly fishing guide, when his wife called out to him from the other room.

“Hey honey, I found the fish,” said Eme Costello.

A decorated Christmas salmon was stolen from the Costello’s front yard on Nov. 30, but it was found and returned a week later by some kind neighbors.

The thieves dumped the fish and plenty of other stolen decorations on the lawn in front of Elaine and Steve Nelson’s home near Woodbridge Elementary School.

Elaine Nelson recalled a commotion in the yard late that night, and thought someone might be stealing her own Christmas decorations. When she and her husband stepped outside the next morning, they were met with a pile of holiday items that looked like they had been dumped out of a truck.

“There was the fish, a beheaded reindeer, a couple of sleigh dogs, candy canes and a penguin,” she said. “They were strewn all over the place, but nobody had touched our stuff. We didn’t know what to do with it.”

The decorations stayed in the Nelson’s garage until Thursday morning, when they read about the stolen fish in the News-Sentinel. A quick phone call later, and the fish was on its way home.

By 1 p.m. on Thursday, the Nelsons returned the salmon to the Costellos. Mike Costello strung a new set of lights around it, and set it back up in the front yard. But this time, a metal cable was looped through the fish’s tail to secure it to a tree.

“Maybe it will keep people from doing this again,” he said.

Contact reporter Sara Jane Pohlman at sarap@lodinews.com.

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