Bedfordshire: CCTV captures moment Christmas light display stolen as thieves target five homes

  • Watch the moment thieves are caught on camera stealing Christmas lights

Shameless thieves hopped a garden fence to dismantle and steal a family's Christmas lights display - but were caught in the act by a doorbell camera.

Footage shows two hooded figures pull up in a car, before one climbs into the garden to pass a four-foot-tall illuminated model of Santa Claus over the fence, then sets about pulling apart the rest of the festive display.

The raid is one of five Christmas lights thefts in the same area of Bedfordshire which are now being investigated by police.

In a second video, a person can be seen approaching a property in the village of Marston Moretaine before wrapping metres of fairy lights around their arm and making off.

The thefts have angered residents who said they had collectively spent hundreds of pounds and many hours of hard work to create the displays in the hope of spreading festive goodwill ahead of Christmas.

This footage shows a figure begin to rolling up fairy lights Credit: Contributed

Kerry Gamble, who recorded the theft of the Santa Claus figure, said the theft had forced her to pack away all her remaining decorations two weeks before Christmas in case the thieves returned.

"When I looked on CCTV a car pulled up at five past nine, they stood looking over the fence for a while speaking amongst themselves, pulled forward a little bit and then proceeded to steal six of our Christmas decorations," said Ms Gamble, of Lower Shelton.

She said the theft had affected more than simply her household, adding: "We put on a little display for the community - children go by and have a look. It's a bit of Christmas cheer for the community.

"It feels really weird I've now had to pack the Christmas decorations away so the people who were so brazen don't come back for a second pickings and steal more decorations."

Ms Gamble said she felt a greater police presence was needed in the area to deter thieves.

"I'm not the only person this has happened to. Hopefully this raises awareness for people who are trying to bring Christmas cheer to the community that there are thieves out there," she said.

The display Darren and Casie Ashford had set up in their garden, which their four-year-old autistic daughter loved Credit: Darren Ashford

  • Watch a report by ITV Anglia's Graham Stothard

Darren Ashford, another resident whose decorations were stolen, said his four-year-old autistic daughter had been left devastated.

He said: "One of the sad things is we have a four-year-old autistic daughter.

"If you know anything about autism routine is one of the biggest things they latch on to. She was going out to school every morning saying goodbye to Father Christmas and the reindeer and the snowman.

"Coming out the next morning, it was really sad, she was looking for the snowman. These are the sort of things people doing this don't understand."

His wife Casie Ashford added: "I'm just really frustrated and really upset by it all.

"A lot of us lost Christmas last year with what's gone on, and this year we are trying to gain some of that back the joy and the happiness,

"It feels like it's been taken from us again."

A Bedfordshire Police spokesperson said: “We’ve received a number of reports of Christmas lights being stolen from addresses in Marston Moretaine and the surrounding area.

"Officers are currently investigating these and will review all lines of enquiry, including any CCTV or doorbell camera footage and where potentially stolen items are being sold online.“

Anyone with information is being encouraged to speak to the police.