Bah humbug! Thieves nab Christmas sign

The sign has been a part of the centres Christmas season for 15 years and they want it back.

The sign has been a part of the centre's Christmas season for 15 years and they want it back. - Credit: Angel Lester

Santa's naughty list is growing ever longer after festive thieves snatched a garden centre's Christmas sign.

Staff at Sprowston Garden Centre have been working hard for weeks to create a winter wonderland and have something close to a forest with their display of real Christmas trees.  

Staff at Sprowston Garden Centre are ready to spread Christmas cheer. 

Staff at Sprowston Garden Centre are ready to spread Christmas cheer. Pictured: Donna Marie Nicol, Darren Hansen, Tina Hall and Elizabeth Marlow. - Credit: Paul Marlow

And with the pandemic still biting, general manager Paul Marlow, wanted to ensure he and his team went above and beyond to deliver a magical Christmas experience to their shoppers.  

But now heartless thieves have nicked the large sign that welcome folks into the centre.

Mr Marlow said: “Last week my team came in and began opening up only to find that overnight someone had stolen our rope light sign that reads ‘Christmas trees’.

“They hadn’t just unplugged it and taken it - they had cut the wire.”  

Horticultural supervisor Anne Reynolds holding the cut wire. 

Horticultural supervisor Anne Reynolds holding the cut wire. - Credit: Angel Lester

The very large sign has been used year after year to let people know when the real Christmas trees are in stock and ready to purchase.  

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“We have called the police, but there isn’t much more that they can do,” Mr Marlow added.  

Tania Hansen, a supervisor at the garden centre said: “When I noticed it was gone, I stood back for a few seconds, I couldn’t believe it was gone.  

“It’s Christmas for goodness' sake.” 

Staff hope that the sign can be located and returned to it's rightful home. 

Staff hope that the sign can be located and returned to it's rightful home. - Credit: Angel Lester

Addressing the thieves directly she added: “To the Grinch who took our sign, returning it would be a reflection of the season of goodwill - after all, it is too big to hang above your fire place.”  

Another supervisor, Anne Reynolds, added: “The sign has been at this garden centre for around 15 years, we just want it back.” 

Mr Marlow is hoping that it is being used to advertise Christmas trees elsewhere and with the help of the Evening News readers it can be located and returned to its rightful place.