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Mischievous coyote caught on video removing lawn decorations in Orleans

With help from the Orleans Police Department, a woman found out a coyote had been stealing lawn ornaments from her home in the night.Orleans Police Department

One weekend in October, a woman living in Orleans noticed something peculiar — her lawn decorations were quietly being taken, strewn into her neighbors’ yards along Brick Hill Road.

This happened several times, so she called the police, who agreed to stake out her house, equipped with night vision goggles, in hopes of catching the perpetrators. Probably a bunch of unruly teenagers celebrating Halloween early.

“We thought it was maybe a kid playing games,” said Police Sergeant William Norton. “Just some teenagers in the neighborhood having some fun.”

The woman also set up a security camera in her yard, and early Monday morning it finally caught the stealthy culprit in the act. It was a coyote out for a stroll, possibly thinking the glass or ceramic ornaments were edible. Three times that night it returned to snag more decorations, Norton said.

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“It may have thought the ornaments were chicken eggs,” he said. “That’s the only thing we can think of. It’s the weirdest thing.”

Coyotes are common in Massachusetts, able to adapt to a variety of habitats, according to the state’s Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.

“We do have a lot of coyotes in the area since it’s very wooded,” Norton said.

To ward off coyotes, officials recommend securing garbage, keeping bird feeder areas clean, closing off crawl spaces, protecting livestock and produce, and trimming brushes. And perhaps avoiding lawn decorations that look like snacks.


Bailey Allen can be reached at bailey.allen@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @baileyaallen.