Weston Coyney couple stumped by Christmas tree theft
FESTIVE thieves chopped down and stole a couple's Christmas tree from outside their house.
Chris Walker and Jane Kelsall purchased the 7ft fir tree last year and planted it in their front garden.
They planned to brighten up their street by hanging Christmas lights on the tree this December, as they did last year.
But the couple, from Main Street, Weston Coyney, awoke on Tuesday morning to find offenders had taken the tree during the night, leaving just a stump behind.
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Chris believes the theft had been planned, and is shocked at the mean-spirited nature of the crime.
The 31-year-old said: "The tree only cost us £20 from Keele Christmas Tree Farm.
"But I've been watering and feeding it all year, and it was looking really good for Christmas.
"We don't have any children ourselves, but my six-year-old niece Darcie loved seeing the tree last year.
"She's been asking us when we're going to put the lights up again. I'm not sure how we're going to explain it to her.
"It was still there when we went to bed at 11.30pm, but when we got up at 6.30am it was gone.
"I couldn't believe it when I saw there was just a stump left. You can clearly see how it's been sawn through, and you see where they've dragged it along the ground to their car as well. "It just seems really low to steal a Christmas tree just before Christmas.
"They must have planned it to steal it as well, as you don't just drive around with a saw in your car."
Chris has reported the theft to the police, but knows it is unlikely he will ever see the tree again.
He has also spoken to his neighbours, one of whom told him the tree was still there at 12.30am on Tuesday.
Chris added: "We have talked about buying a replacement tree, but now these people have taken one tree, they might just think they can keep coming back for more.
"I've got half a mind to put some lights on the stump anyway, just to stick two fingers up at the thieves."
Jane, aged 31, who works as a veterinary receptionist, said: "When I woke up and looked out of the window, I thought the tree had fallen down as I couldn't see it. When we went out, we saw it had been chopped down and stolen. I couldn't believe it.
"It's a shame as it had been growing really well and we were decorating it with lights. I don't think there is any point getting another one for someone to steal and have a free Christmas tree.
"We have an artificial one inside the house, so I guess we will just have to put our efforts into decorating that instead."
Staffordshire Police advises residents to keep their homes secure over the festive period and to ensure gifts and other valuable items are not viewable through windows.
Anyone with information about the Christmas tree theft should contact Staffordshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.