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"Cruel" Gang Strikes Again

Residents of Fifehead Magdalen, already crestfallen at the diminished status of their festive lights this year, were devastated to wake this morning to discover that thieves had once again "stolen Christmas" after returning to the village for a second time.

Chief Constable of Dorset, Sir Rising Crimewave confirmed that police were investigating "a second incident, which bears all the hallmarks of the first". He further confirmed that the two investigations were now firmly linked. "The two investigations are now firmly linked", he confirmed, "we believe it highly unlikely that two sets of highly-skilled, highly-trained, highly-equipped and highly-audacious culprits could be operating in the same area at the same time". "Of course we will be widening and intensifying our inquiries", he continued, "throwing the net as far as the next village if necessary".

In the meantime an ashen-faced Parish Councillor and Honorary treasurer Mrs Winifrid Tighte-Wadd was too upset to speak. "I'm too upset to speak", she spoke, "far, far too upset". "They say lightening never strikes twice ... but try telling that to my husband whose certainly copped it more than once to my certain knowledge, let alone the children of this village. These cruel and thoughtless thieves have twice stolen Christmas from them and they should be shot. No that's too good for them. They should be strangled and then electrocuted using the materials they stole, assuming of course that the thieves are identified and the stolen materials recovered".

Local grocer and Village Stores owner Morthen Overpriced said his suspicions were first aroused when he woke earlier and spotted a pair of step ladders adjacent to the tree. "I thought ooh that's a bit unusual. It's an odd time to be pruning. Then I noticed the reindeer was gone and, on closer inspection, the lights as well. It was a shock. I said to my wife "That's a shock!". Mrs Overpriced confirmed "He was quite shocked actually. Yes quite shocked. So much so he said he said "That's a shock" . So I knew he was shocked. Very shocked. Well it is shocking when you think about it. Isn't it? Very shocking ... very shocking indeed. I mean twice ... really shocking. Would you like to buy some Duchy Originals whilst you're here? They are reassuringly expensive even by our standards".

The sad sight of the Fifehead Magdalene Christmas tree bereft of its lights. Police said the presence of the ladder gave them important clues as to the modus operandi of the thieves and are hopeful that a search of local garages and sheds might further their inquiries.

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