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Big Frosty has been snatched, and his little friend is missing, too.

"It's the case of the kidnapped snowmen," said Medford resident Bill Gallagher.

Gallagher and his wife, Jenny, said some greedy Grinch stole a handmade wooden snowman and a smaller stuffed cloth sidekick from their front yard on White Oak Drive some time between 6 p.m. Sunday and 6 a.m. Monday.

"We hadn't even had them out for a day," said Bill Gallagher, who filed a report with Medford police within 45 minutes after the thefts were discovered Monday morning.

The five-foot tall wooden cutout was a gift from Jenny's mother, Melinda Kost of Grants Pass. Kost made twin hand-painted snowmen — complete with black stovepipe hats, red mittens, and red and green scarves — for her two daughters, said Jenny Gallagher.

"She gave one to my sister (Joanie Word), and one to me," said Jenny Gallagher. "My mom cried when I called and told her (about the theft). She spent months working on them."

Jenny Gallagher collects snowmen, and she has accumulated more than 70. Frosty was the biggest.

The Gallaghers first put out the snowmen two years ago, and nothing was stolen the past two winters.

"It is quite violating," Bill Gallagher said of the theft. "Someone walked across our yard and up to our doorway to do this."

Standing on the stoop, the Gallaghers looked down at a hole in the ground near the base of a Korean dogwood tree decorated with holiday lights.

The deep indentation was made by the stake that held up the cherished snowman, Bill Gallagher said.

The Gallaghers' holiday display is down to one lone figure, a sled-riding companion to the smaller cloth snowman that was stolen. They are now keeping this stuffed carrot-nosed snowman inside, they said.

"We can't put it out there. He'll just get stolen, too," Bill Gallagher said.

Gallagher said he can't figure out why anyone would steal their prized snowman, and he wonders what they'll do with him now that they have him.

Putting Frosty outside might unmask the thief. Putting the snowman and his wooden stake inside a house is not really doable, he said.

"Was he stolen for vandalism?" Bill Gallagher asked.

Perish the thought, said Jenny Gallagher.

"I was crying when I had to tell my mom. I just want him to come back," said Jenny Gallagher.

Bill Gallagher asked anyone with information about their missing friend to call 621-5402.

Reach reporter Sanne Specht at 776-4497 or e-mail sspecht@mailtribune.com.

Jenny and Bill Gallagher with the one snowman in their yard that was not stolen. - Jim Craven