Christmas lights stolen from 18ft Westward Ho! tree

Christmas lights were stolen from an 18ft (5.5m) village tree in Devon, hours after they were put up.

The lights, costing about £100, were stolen from the village square of Westward Ho! on Friday, Northam Town Council said.

Town clerk Jane Mills said she had reported the incident to the police, "but didn't have much hope" at having them returned.

Last December the tree lights were smashed by vandals.

The lights that were stolen had been bought as replacements.

Ms Mills said the lights disappeared on Friday night.

She added: "They were installed during Friday, and I was getting all these messages asking if they had actually been put up. Then by Saturday morning they were gone."

Ms Mills said the lights had been fixed to the tree with cable ties and she was unsure if the village would get any new lights as "we haven't got a bottomless pit in our budget for them".

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