Thieves swipe museum’s donated lights

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Police are investigation after more than $1,000 in lights were stolen from the Buffalo History Museum.

The lights were part of the museum’s annual Cherry Blossom Festival, which just wrapped up on Saturday.

Six of the more than 40 lights were stolen over the weekend. The $200 landscaping lights are akin to stage lights that can be used outdoors. This year, they cast a pink hue on the museum during the festival.

Philip Colarusso has donated the lights for the past two years.

“I really wasn’t concerned about it because we were lighting up Buffalo and making the building look great,” Colarusso said. “And so it’s unfortunate that six fixtures were taken…Put them back on the steps of the museum. No harm, no foul.”

Festival organizers said they appreciate the work of volunteers like Colarusso, who donated the lights from his own collection.

“Sad. So sad,” said Trudy Stern, co-chairwoman of the Cherry Blossom Festival. “He put hours and hours into lighting this place, complete volunteer work. We have a lot of great volunteers, including Phil, and people just don’t know. It was a sadness, and we miss the lights. And we really feel back about the fact that some people didn’t respect other people’s property.”

The museum’s insurance will recover the cost of the lights if they’re not returned, Colarusso said. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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