Ashamed thief returns town’s Christmas decorations with hand-written apology note


Residents in Atherstone, Warwickshire, were left fuming when ten of the 50 Nutcracker decorations were stolen just two days after they were put up. They have now been returned

One of the Nutcracker decorations in Atherstone, Warwickshire
One of the Nutcracker decorations in Atherstone, Warwickshire

A thief who felt ashamed of this actions has returned a town’s festive Nutcracker decorations after swiping them.

Town hall bosses in Atherstone, Warwickshire, have been putting up the decorations for the last two years in memory of a councillor and nurse who died from Covid-19.

Residents were left fuming when ten of the 50 decorations were ripped from lampposts and bollards just two days after they were erected on November 23.

However, on December 3, community leaders were left stunned when the decorations were returned with hand-written note of apology.

It read: “I am so sorry for my actions. I am really ashamed of myself. I am also sorry for any upset or distress I have caused.”

The thief returned the decorations leaving a note of apology


Gary Chamberlain / SWNS)

Gary Chamberlain, 50, chairman of The Atherstone Partnership community group, who organises the display said: “There was a lot of anger when they were taken.

“Two years ago we featured the Nutcrackers throughout the town for the first time and they got a brilliant response from the locals who said it brightened up the town.

“This was something that the late Cllr Dawn Downes asked for and we were able to provide. It really did cheer the town up.

“They went up again last year while we were in lockdown, for an extended time, just to bring a bit more of a festive spirit to a very difficult year.

“In memory of Dawn I promised that we would carry this on as she loved to see these Nutcrackers down Long Street.”

Mr Chamberlain said the decorations were stolen at the end of November, but were then returned after a CCTV image of the alleged thief was put out.

He added: “I’d like to thank that person for having the courage to return them and realising their mistake. It would have taken a lot to do this.

“It cannot justify why they were taken in the first place but I appreciate them bringing them back and re-attaching them in their rightful place.

“It looks like the culprit returned all they took so they must have had a guilty conscience and decided to the do the right thing.

“I’d like to think that something positive can come from this and the person responsible will think twice in future.

“We haven’t got the police involved and it has all been resolved now. Local businesses have even offered to fund more figures in future so the outcome has been positive.”

Local resident Cheryl Burkey, 44, spotted the apology note as she was going to work in the town over the weekend.

She said: “It was quite bizarre but credit to the person responsible as it must have taken some guts to return them.

“The apology does appear to be heartfelt so I think everybody will forgive them. It is the season of goodwill after all so I think it’s only fair.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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