A new Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer statue was erected in the Ranchview neighborhood of Rolling Hills Estates on Sunday, replacing a similar statue that had been stolen Dec. 12.
The original 200-pound wooden statue, crafted and painted by hand, had been a holiday icon in the South Bay enclave for some 50 years, residents said.
"A week ago, the Grinch stole Rudolph but he did not steal our Christmas spirit," said Korry Taylor, president of the local homeowners association.
Her husband, Tim Taylor, built the new statue over a period of four nights. A neighbor then spent three days painting Rudolph, his nose and a scarf emblazoned with the word "CHEERS."
The wooden reindeer was heavily secured Sunday evening when it was installed on its perch above a sign marking an entrance to Ranchview. Residents — some of whom toasted with champagne — cheered as holiday lights on the display were switched on.