Expressive, detailed Christopher Radko collectible ornaments like this one made up the bulk of Susan Chupick’s collection.

Expressive, detailed Christopher Radko collectible ornaments like this one made up the bulk of Susan Chupick’s collection.

Photos provided by the Chupick family


Grosse Pointe Farms woman hoping for safe return of stolen Christmas ornament collection

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published December 16, 2021

 The Chupick family Christmas tree was decorated with care each year by Susan Chupick, who delighted in putting out her ornament collection. An unknown suspect stole hundreds of ornaments — representing almost her entire collection — from the home recently.

The Chupick family Christmas tree was decorated with care each year by Susan Chupick, who delighted in putting out her ornament collection. An unknown suspect stole hundreds of ornaments — representing almost her entire collection — from the home recently.

 Susan Chupick’s beloved Christmas ornament collection included several lady figurines like this one by Soffieria De Carlini.

Susan Chupick’s beloved Christmas ornament collection included several lady figurines like this one by Soffieria De Carlini.

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FARMS — Whoever stole hundreds of Christmas ornaments from a Grosse Pointe Farms home that’s currently for sale took more than just pretty decorations: They took a lifetime of precious memories that went with them.

According to a police report, an estimated 450 ornaments were stolen by an unknown suspect from a home in the 100 block of Meadow Lane sometime before Nov. 24, when they were discovered missing. The ornaments were the prized possessions of Susan Chupick, who has been collecting them since she was 11 years old. 

The ornaments included lady figurines by Soffieria De Carlini and a variety of ornaments by Christopher Radko, and they represent several decades' worth of collecting by the heartbroken Chupick, who received many of these ornaments as birthday and Christmas gifts from her deceased parents, grandmother and brother, as well as from her daughters. The glistening, finely detailed ornaments had been carefully wrapped in white tissue paper and stored in red silk boxes in a closet in the Chupick family home.

The collectible ornaments were expensive — worth an estimated $100 apiece  — but it isn’t their monetary value that matters to Susan Chupick.

“They’re irreplaceable,” she said through tears. “I’d give anything to get them back.”

She said the suspect “took all I had” from her late family members, which makes the loss that much more painful. Chupick’s birthday is Dec. 20, and she said that decorating her tree and looking at it brought her so much joy every year, as she connected each ornament with the memory of who gave it to her and when she received it. 

“It really was my biggest passion,” Chupick said. “I looked forward to putting them out. It’s sad for my kids (as well). This was going to be handed down to my kids. This was all that I had. It was the only thing I collected.”

She said she was a figure skater when she was young, and her mother bought her the first of these ornaments, a figure skater, from Frankenmuth.

“That’s when it all started,” Chupick said. “It was very personal to me because I love decorating. My mom loved decorating. It meant so much to me.”

Each year, Chupick said, she and her family would travel to Frankenmuth and she would select an ornament or two for her birthday or Christmas while with them. Because of the cost, she had to be very selective.

Since there were no signs of a break-in, the family suspects that either a real estate agent or a prospective buyer took the ornaments. Chupick said the ornaments were the only items of value left in the house, and they were left there because she was planning on decorating the tree and never thought anyone would take them.

“You would never think anyone would steal your Christmas ornaments,” she said. “It’s really horrible. It’s cruel.”

Early on the morning of Nov. 24, Ron Chupick said he carried boxes of ornaments to his wife so she could start the process of decorating the tree. Because the delicate glass ornaments don’t weigh much, he didn’t notice that the boxes were lighter than they should have been. Moments later, he heard his wife scream as she opened the boxes to find them empty.

Susan Chupick said she has a tradition of starting to decorate the tree the day before Thanksgiving. She said she would carefully select the right branch for each ornament, and the process of placing all the ornaments could take a couple of weeks to complete. Her husband said he would anchor the tree to the wall to make sure it wouldn’t fall.

Susan Chupick is hoping that whoever took her ornaments will return them to her once they realize how important they are to her and her family.

“Just give me back the memories of my mother and my grandmother,” Chupick pleaded. “I’ve been in tears (since the theft). It’s totally ruined the holidays for us.”

The ornaments are small, but the suspect must have placed them in bags or a container to remove them from the home. The family is offering a reward for the safe return of the ornaments. Anyone with more information about this crime is asked to call the Farms Public Safety Department at (313) 885-2100.

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