Hundreds of Christmas presents stolen from local Santa’s grotto

Image: Chrissy Quinnell // Facebook

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

A Bristol community has been "knocked for six" after more than 600 children’s Christmas presents were stolen from a community Santa’s grotto.

Police are investigating after volunteers discovered that the gifts were missing on Tuesday morning.

The presents were being stored in a building at the bowling green in Eastville Park after the Christmas event had been cancelled at the weekend due to high winds.

The hundreds of wrapped gifts, as well as food, drinks and cooking equipment, were being kept aside while organisers worked out what to do next.

Avon and Somerset Police said the burglary happened at some point between 4pm on Monday December 9 and 10am the following day.

A force spokeswoman said “We'd appeal for anyone who saw or heard any suspicious activity around the building between Monday evening and Tuesday morning to contact us on 101.

“We also want to hear from anyone who has information about the whereabouts of the stolen presents.”

Friends of Eastville Park had planned a wildlife winter wonderland-themed Santa's grotto along with entertainment and crafts for its first Christmas event for children.

In a message posted on the Friends of Eastville Page Facebook group, a spokesman said the burglary has "knocked us for six".

"I'll take a while for us to bounce back - but we will," they said.

"Particularly upsetting is the loss of over 600 wrapped children's presents along with a selection of drinks, some catering equipment and a room heater."

The group has now surpassed its £2,000 online fundraising target to replace the gifts.

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