Pictures: CCTV catches Christmas decoration thieves

Thieves stealing Christmas decorations SUS-151214-161050001

Thieves stealing Christmas decorations SUS-151214-161050001

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An Eastbourne couple who put up CCTV cameras after their garden was repeatedly vandalised have caught a group of youths stealing Christmas decorations.

Alan and Jean Chapman, of Rowan Avenue in Hampden Park, had inflatable figures of Father Christmas and a reindeer stolen from their front garden on Sunday night (December 13).

Theives stealing the figures from the house SUS-151214-161029001

Theives stealing the figures from the house SUS-151214-161029001

The couple, who decorate their house for Christmas each year, were able to catch the theft by two hooded youths on camera and pass the footage to the police.

They first put up the cameras last year when another inflatable figure – a snowman – was stolen from their garden.

Alan said, “We were watching television in the front room and we heard a bang, when they pulled it off the bench, but we didn’t realise what it was until later on.

“The figures were around 12-years-old and are pretty much irreplaceable because they don’t make them anymore.

The decorations SUS-151214-161018001

The decorations SUS-151214-161018001

“We do it for other people to cheer them up. There is a woman down the road who takes her children to see the decorations each year.

“But when things like this happen it puts us off wanting to do it.”

Since moving to the house the couple have been burgled three times and had Christmas decorations taken from their garden several years running.

Alan said, “A few years ago we had a 600-light Christmas tree imported from America stolen from our garden.

“I have no idea why. It is of no use to anyone else because it ran off 120 volts. If you had plugged it in to an English socket it would have blown the whole thing.

“The one that annoys me most is the doorbells - we’ve had eight doorbells taken since moving in here.

“We’ve had the garage and shed robbed three times. I had someone try to drill the lock of my car, too.”

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