This week, we'll look back at a few times when a Grinch has spoiled someone's Christmas here in Huntington Beach.
Our first Grinch really didn't mean to spoil Christmas, but just one phone call did just that.
It all started when a woman called our police station on Dec. 12, 1943 to report a suspicious person.
At the time, the nation was at war, and local nerves were strained with visions of a saboteur coming in and blowing up our oil field.
This anonymous Grinch phoned police that she had seen a man stop his car repeatedly while checking a map and appeared to be casing the 140th Infantry barracks at Lake Park.
After giving a description of the man and his car to police, Assistant Police Chief Gene Belshe was assigned to the call.
He quickly located the man and the car on Palm Avenue and pulled up behind him and sounded his siren.
This frightened the stranger so much that he lost control of his car, jumped the curb and struck a fire hydrant, sending a stream of water high into the air.
Belshe found out that the Pasadena man, Dr. Stanley Chambers, was just looking around our town for property to invest in. Instead, he received a Christmas gift of a smashed grill, and the city crew had to replace a hydrant all because of a phone call.
It was during the Christmas holidays of 1950 that another Grinch would spoil the holiday of Russell Robb.
Robb owned a service station at Five Points, and one evening he forgot to lock a storage cabinet.
When he returned the next morning, he was minus 204 quarts of oil.
That same 1950 Christmas saw Bob Daly lose his shirt to a Grinch.
Daly had hung a pair of expensive riding breeches, two pair of pants and a plaid shirt on the clothesline to dry. When he returned, he found the clothesline empty. His German camera was missing from his car, too.
A Grinch spoiled Christmas for Minnie Wilson of Los Angeles in 1951.