It is the traditional time for putting up Christmas decorations, but in at least one part of the Washington region, it also seems to be the time for taking them down and carrying them away.

On half a dozen streets in the eastern part of Loudoun County, thefts of holiday decorations were reported last week to the sheriff’s office.

Items missing included lights, a candy cane and figurines from a nativity scene. The thefts were reported in the Sterling and Ashburn sections of the county.

Within the past week, decorations have increasingly appeared on streets in that area. The motives behind the incidents are not clear, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office said Monday night.

But rather than symbolizing a surge of anti-Christmas spirit, sheriff’s department spokesman Kraig Troxell suggested that the filching of the holiday items represents little more than the fact that the vandals spotted a window of opportunity. Similar incidents have occurred in past years, he said.

In Sterlin, strands of lights were removed from yards on Parkside Circle and River Falls Drive, the sheriff’s office said. An inflatable decoration was taken from a yard on Stonebrook Court. And two figurines were spirited away from a nativity scene in a yard on Laura Anne Drive.

In Ashburn, a candy cane disappeared late Saturday or early Sunday from a front yard on Grovemont Terrace.

The sites are far enough apart to make it unlikely that a connection exists among the incidents, Troxell said.

Meanwhile, a woman living on one of the streets where an item was taken said she had not noticed. “Every day,” she said, “they’re putting more up.”