GRAFTON, Mass. - A Northbridge business owner discovered his restored Christmas sleigh was stolen after leaving a wake at Roney Funeral Home.
Dan Perry left the antique wooden sleigh in the back of his pickup truck while attending the Saturday afternoon service of Ernie Peters, a longtime resident of Grafton and former firefighter. Perry stopped in to pay his respects, stayed for two hours, and then left at approximately 4:30 p.m. While driving home, he noticed the 200 pound item was gone.
“I can’t believe someone would do it at Ernie’s wake,” Perry said in a phone interview. He then detoured to the Grafton Police Department to file a report.
“I was planning on decorating it and then putting it in front of my business during the holidays when we sell Christmas trees,” he added.
Perry assessed the sleigh’s value as between $1,500 and $2,000.
Perry attended the wake because he and Peters were friends since childhood. As adults, they worked together for a time hauling hay from Canada. During that period, Perry introduced Peter to his future wife.
Perry is the owner of Perry’s Auto Sales and Service in Northbridge. He purchased the 19th century sleigh in New York state and spent the summer restoring it, describing it as one that Santa Claus would ride in, with a dark green paint finish, steel rudders, and a polished brass plate. He said that the thieves, in their haste, left the black seat cushions behind.
If you have any information about this theft, contact the Grafton Police Department at 508-839-2858.