Volunteers who work all year round to light up a town at Christmas have hit out at teenage thugs who stole baubles from the communal Christmas tree.
Newport Pagnell’s Christmas light switch-on was a resounding success on Saturday, with more than 7,000 people enjoying the entertainment, stalls and Santa’s visit.
But two days later members of the volunteer crew spotted three teenagers climbing up the tree and stealing baubles.
“I shone my torch on them and they ran off. But sadly two baubles were stolen and one was broken,” said Scott Humphries, who is vice-chair of the Newport Pagnell Christmas Lights committee.
The offenders, who broke through the protective fence, were two boys and one girl around 14 or 15 years old.
The incident was photographed and details were handed to police, who have pledged to investigate.
Now the committee has trained special CCTV cameras directly onto the Christmas tree. And they’ve warned any further offenders could face prosecution.
“It’s such a shame. We’re one of the few towns in the UK that finances and installs their own Christmas lights. The switch on was a real success and thousands of people enjoyed it,” said Scott.
“Newport Pagnell is very proud of its lights. We work hard to raise the money to repair them and keep them in good order every year. some of them date back to the 1970s.
“It’s sad that these young people had to spoil it.”