CLITHEROE'S Mayor says there might not be a Nativity crib scene at the Castle gates next year due to persistent theft of its figures.
In the early hours of Boxing Day, around 3-45 a.m., five figures including baby Jesus, Mary, an angel and shepherd, were taken from the crib.
This is not the first year the figures have been stolen, often by drunken revellers. But Clitheroe's Mayor, Coun. Mary Robinson, says she is disgusted at the latest incident.
"Over the past few years there have been instances of theft by youths, but usually the items have been returned," she said. "However, I feel when adults decide to remove not one but five figures we have reached an all-time low."
CCTV cameras picked up images of two people in their 30s or 40s taking the figures. They left the castle grounds by the Eshton Terrace gate in the direction of Mitchell Street carrying the figures. One wing of the angel had broken off and is now in the hands of the police.
Coun. Robinson added: "There is little else I can say to express my disgust, other than to suggest perhaps the town should not provide a crib next year?"
Insp. Chris Saville, of Clitheroe Police, confirmed the theft of the figures was being treated as a criminal offence. He said it would be a great shame if the whole town, especially countless children who love to visit the crib scene, were to miss out next year due to the selfish antics of a few offenders.
Clitheroe Town Council would welcome information about the whereabouts of the figures so they can be returned to the crib. Texts or calls can be sent to 07949 783464 and calls can also be sent to 01200 423896. Anyone with information can also contact police on 01200 443344 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.