Thieves take Christmas lights from home of grandpa in Dagenham

A distraught grandfather awoke to find his Christmas lights, hung to bring the festive spirit to his grandchildren on their regular visits, had been stolen.

Eugene O’Leary, had three different sets of string lights taken from outside his home in Marlborough Road, Dagenham, overnight on Sunday (December 8).

The thieves broke a piece of fence to climb up and cut the wires above an outdoor fuse box, before lifting the lights — decorated with candles, stars and bells — from the walls and making off.

“I didn’t believe that somebody would stoop so low, I thought it was just kids pulling a prank,” said Eugene, 70. “Despicable theft really. I put them up for the grandchildren when they come over. I was most upset.”

Eugene, who lives with wife Margaret, 64, and daughter Tara, 18, added despite putting lights up for the past few years he wouldn’t continue to do so for fear of the same thing happening again.


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Barking and Dagenham safer neighbourhoods inspector Richard Thomas said: “This is a sad incident that has cast a shadow over the Christmas cheer of the victims.

“Many people on the borough contribute to making their area look festive and these lights were put in place for everyone to enjoy. Whoever stole them should be ashamed of themselves.”

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Anyone with information should contact police on 101 quoting crime reference number CHF6081.

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