SAN JOSE -- Daniel Walker of Satanic Bay Area said the group's roughly 7-foot-tall tree had to be redecorated after many of its 140 satanic-themed, mostly handmade ornaments were pilfered over the weekend.
"We're fairly certain that people are taking them out of admiration rather than antagonism," Walker said.
"But we're running out so fast that we're issuing this plea for light-fingered admirers to stop," he continued. "If you really want a satanic ornament, email us and we might just send you one."
The tree, which went up Nov. 23, is one of hundreds that constitute Christmas in the Park. Now in its 39th year, the event is held at Plaza de Cesar Chavez in downtown San Jose.
Any organization can apply to decorate a tree. There are no restrictions beyond a vague prohibition on the use of offensive language.
Last year, someone allegedly plucked a black goat head mask from the top of a tree decorated by the San Jose chapter of The Satanic Temple, which is separate from Satanic Bay Area.
The pentagram topping Satanic Bay Area's tree has been left alone, according to Walker.
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Walker said Satanic Bay Area was founded in 2015 as a grassroots atheistic group to create community and left-wing political action for Satanists in the South Bay and beyond.
"It's our hope that the proliferation of satanic-themed holiday displays in cities across America helps people realize that Satanist groups are part of their local communities too, and that many different kinds of people find joy in the holiday season," Walker said.
"But it seems some people's idea of holiday cheer is to pull a reverse Santa and make off with the goods in the middle of the night."
There have been other thefts at the event. In fact, thieves also have targeted Christian symbols.
"The baby Jesus from our nativity scene gets stolen on a pretty regular basis," said the event's executive director, Jason Minsky, in an interview last year after the goat head mask vanished.
Walker said fellow Satanists in Sacramento have volunteered to make additional ornaments.
"If this keeps up, we might have to put some kind of curse on the new ones -- or maybe just stick something gross on the backside," he said. "We haven't decided yet."