ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - An Albuquerque haunted house trying to raise money for two non-profits is now reeling from a loss worth hundreds of dollars and thousands of screams, all thanks to a thief who walked off with a unique scary costume.
From the fake blood to the scary monster props, putting together the “Haunted Scarecrow” haunted house has been a dream for the project’s executive director Jeff Lepori this year.
“This is probably the biggest event we've done,” said Lepori.
But that dream has turned into somewhat of a nightmare now for Lepori with just two days up and running. That’s because something is missing.
“It was definitely a new thing for the year people were actually looking forward to it,” said Lepori.
Lepori was working with the crew Friday night dressed in a scary rabbit costume called “Peter Rottentail.” The costume is a full size caricature of a haunted rabbit featuring green, blue and red eyes, large fluffy ears, long finger and toenails and a mouth with large brown teeth.
“I was working my position all night and it's a very hot costume so I, at the end of the night, came over here and I took it off and set it down to air it out,” said Lepori.
No more than five minutes passed and Lepori went back to the costume only to find it missing. He says someone left the costume’s red and green plaid vest, but took off with everything else.
“I don't want to use the word despair, but I felt very low when I saw that it was gone and you know the deep pit in your stomach, kind of like, down,” said Lepori.
Lepori says the costume was brand new, costing more than $400. He only got to use it once.
The costume was one of the new additions Lepori added to this year's haunted house, hoping that it would attract even more people to their new location at Warehouse 508 in downtown Albuquerque.
“Without the characters, you don't have the scare,” said Lepori.
Lepori says the loss will come out of his own pocket, but he's disappointed someone would try to hurt a good cause.
“If you needed help, all you had to do was ask, anybody here would have help you,” said Lepori.
Fortunately, Lepori says he was able to find a replacement costume, which should arrive this next week. It's costing him around $500, though. If anyone sees the costume, specifically without its plaid vest, the haunted house is asking people to call police.
All of the proceeds from the event help non-profits Warehouse 508 and the Endorphin Power Company which helps people recovering from drug addiction.
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