By Connie Osborne Thursday 20 December 2012 Updated: 20/12 20:46
HEARTLESS thieves stole a charity's festive lights just days before Christmas.
Staff at Batchley Support Group found the lights missing from the tree in the centre of the district on Wednesday night (December 19).
Chair Maureen Muckle said she was devastated and heartbroken.
"I'm angry, I'm upset and I'm utterly heartbroken someone could steal them. This was something for the whole community, for everyone to enjoy at Christmas and now it has been taken away from us all.
"Nothing like this has ever happened before and it is just completely out of the blue. We are not used to this sort of thing happening on this estate and I think everyone's in shock.
Although the cost of the lights is not known, the charity spends around £500 on installing the tree and its decorations.
Pleading for their return, Mrs Muckle added: "That money could have been spent on other things if I knew this would happen. What an awful waste and what an awful time for this to happen. I just don't know how anyone could do this.
"We work hard to raise the money and make this an enjoyable time for the residents.
" I just want the people who did this to give them back. If anyone knows anything about it or saw anything please let us know. I just want to see those lights back up on that tree."
Anyone with any information about the theft should call police on non-emergency number 101, quoting crime reference number 159-S-191212, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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