COMMUNITY centre staff were left dismayed after thieves stole their Christmas lights and smashed up their nativity scene.
Lights hung outside The Centre in Brinsworth were pinched within hours of going up in December and the power packs operating them weeks later.
But staff at the centre were even more upset when they returned to reopen the centre last Monday to find the wooden nativity in St George's Churchyard wrecked.
“It’s just pure and simple vandalism,” said centre manager Sue Widdowson.
“It is completely smashed up.
“It was a solid set made of wood in a 6ft by 4ft frame.
“We thought initially it had been stolen but it has been kicked to pieces.
“It is so pointless. It's just a shame as it's for the whole village's benefit. It belongs to the parish council and this is only the second time it has been there.”
“The first incident was just after we put the lights up but before we switched them on.
“There was a banner with merry Christmas and bows at either end with lights on but the following day the lights had been stripped off.
“The nativity must have been damaged over the new year.
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“We found when we came on the Monday that the five power packs for the lights had been stolen and the nativity scene.”
Police are investigating the crimes and neighbours are checking their CCTV to see if they have caught the culprits on camera.
Despite the damage, Sue said a nativity display would be in place next Christmas.
“We will still be doing it next year- it is for the benefit of everyone,” she said
“Perhaps it will have to be behind more secure fences. It's such a shame.”