Vandals wreck family’s Blackpool Christmas fundraising lightshow and crooks steal charity boxes

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Scrooge thieves and vandals have spoiled a family’s charity fund-raising efforts to bring Christmas cheer to Blackpool.

 

Crooks have twice raided collection boxes containing donations to the North West Air Ambulance from outside the house of the Thomas family in Condor Grove.

And in the latest attack, brainless vandals wrecked part of the display that took Dean eight weeks to put up and left the family’s children terrified after tomatoes and eggs were thrown at the windows.

The lights have been a major attraction in the area with hundreds of people visiting for some festive spirit and to support the life-saving work of the air ambulance.

Dean Thomas whose festive lights display has been repeatedly attacked

Dean Thomas whose festive lights display has been repeatedly attacked

Dean’s dazzling display along with that of his brother-in-law Ashley Forward across the road have made Condor Grove a must-see for families with small children.

But now Dean is questioning whether to make the effort again next year after the thugs’ raids.

The attacks have been reported to the police and Dean is hoping to get metal charity boxes to be secured for the last few days of the display.

The first theft came on November 18 and crooks struck again on November 22.

Thieves have stole collection boxes raising money for the air ambulance

Thieves have stole collection boxes raising money for the air ambulance

But on Monday night blow-up displays and miniature Winter Wonderland were wrecked by thugs.

Dean said: “We have a new born baby and so I cannot spend every night keeping watch.

“The people who have done this are awful, they need catching. We do have CCTV and I am waiting for the police to come to investigate.

“They must have done about £200 damage. My eldest daughter will not sleep in her own room now because they scared her so much when they threw things at the windows.

“When it happened I was in the playroom, by the time I got outside they had gone.

“I feel bad for the air ambulance people. We have raised around £780 so far but would have had more if not for the thefts.

“When we reported the theft on November 18 a PCSO came round and was very apologetic. But we have not had a proper investigation yet. The police promised me a phone call but it has not come.”

Dean said they had found one of the charity boxes in the street nearby but it had been emptied.

“I am trying to get metal boxes now, but I should not have to do this. I should not have to go out and buy them. I am going to have to think carefully about doing this again next year.

“There are only three days left now. I am going to take them down on Boxing Day.

“We have had loads of people visit. And they are leaving so happy its unbelievable.

“We have been handing out teddies to children and lots of people have said how much they like the lights, it is such a shame.”

Dean said the air ambulance did fantastic work but relied on donations to meet the £9.5m a year running costs.

Blackpool Police have been approached for a comment.