Theft of Christmas lights from Broadway Children's Centre causes much festive dispirit
FESTIVE celebrations have been dimmed due to the theft of £150 worth of Christmas lighting.
Hundreds of parents and children at the Broadway Children's Centre, Grimsby, have been left disappointed after the decorations were taken over the weekend – although one set has since been returned anonymously.
The lights were going to be used at the centre's Christmas grotto log cabin which usually sees more than 100 children coming to meet Santa and enjoy the festivities.
The thieves broke into the grotto, damaging the front door, but left the hut mostly untouched.
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Staff and parents at the centre are planning to continue with celebrations despite the break-in.
Parent Carly Surfleet said: "It's ruined Christmas for the children.
"We are still having the party but Santa will just be sitting there. There will be no atmosphere.
"My son will be really disappointed and so will the hundreds of other children.
"They are just little thieves, there is no reason for doing it.
"The centre does a lot for the community.
"It's got to be someone local to have known the grotto was there.
"It's not going to be decorated now, it won't look as good without the lights but we will carry on despite the theft."
CCTV footage is being reviewed to try to catch the thieves.
Another parent, Stacie Haley, said: "It's going to be really disappointing for the children seeing Santa without all the lights.
"They are lowlifes, why would you do this to kids? Why steal from kids?
"I want to see them bring it all back."
Staff at the Centre believe that the theft is an isolated incident.
Lisa Smith, children's centre development officer, said: "We are aware that times are hard for everyone and we are trying to create some magic for as many children as possible by putting the lights outside the centre.
"We are of course all disappointed about this theft.
"We know, however, that this is an isolated incident and the majority of the community are proud of the Broadway Children's Centre and the work it does for families in the area."
A spokesman for Humberside Police said: "Police were called in connection with a burglary at Broadway Children's Centre, Broadway, Grimsby.
"The incident happened between 5pm on Saturday December 8 and 9am on Sunday December 10.
"A cabin was entered and a set of external fairy lights and a reindeer were stolen.
"Some tinsel-style decorations have since been recovered nearby."
Anyone with information is asked to call Humberside Police on 101 quoting crime reference 1946578."