Festive grotto attacked by vandals and Christmas lights stolen

The festive display on Colney Heath Lane before it was targeted by vandals on Tuesday. Picture: Narinder Israel

The festive display on Colney Heath Lane before it was targeted by vandals on Tuesday. Picture: Narinder Israel - Credit: Archant

People of St Albans are being warned of Christmas decoration thieves, after vandals trashed a festive display in Colney Heath Lane.

The festive display on Colney Heath Lane before it was targeted by vandals on Tuesday. Picture: Narinder Israel

The festive display on Colney Heath Lane before it was targeted by vandals on Tuesday. Picture: Narinder Israel - Credit: Archant

On Tuesday evening, Ron Israel found that Christmas decorations had been looted from his front garden.

Stolen decorations include a large reindeer, two moving reindeers, two foxes, a polar bear and a snowman.

Ron, who has lived in St Albans for 20 years, would like to warn the community of the theft in the hope of preventing a similar incident happening to anyone else in the future.

The grotto garden display has been a staple attraction each year, and has raised hundreds of pounds in previous years for Great Ormond Street Hospital, where Ron’s son, 16-year-old Jayden, has been treated his entire life.

The festive display on Colney Heath Lane before it was targeted by vandals on Tuesday. Picture: Narinder Israel

The festive display on Colney Heath Lane before it was targeted by vandals on Tuesday. Picture: Narinder Israel - Credit: Archant


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Ron said: “Christmas was an amazing time for Jayden and as this was his special time; he forgot about the constant pain he was in and looked forward to his favourite season.

“The outdoor lights grew bigger and bigger and turned into a grotto. We opened our gates to the public and our community to enjoy.”

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He added that the family stopped collecting for GOSH in fear that their donations would be stolen.

“Jayden was devastated. We all are. How can anyone during a very bad pandemic in our lives do something so cruel?”

The festive display on Colney Heath Lane before it was targeted by vandals on Tuesday. Picture: Narinder Israel

The festive display on Colney Heath Lane before it was targeted by vandals on Tuesday. Picture: Narinder Israel - Credit: Archant

The family has continued with the rest of their decorations, and has tried to repair the remaining damaged ones.

“We are petrified robbers will come and take the remaining decorations,” Ron said.

“Although we have stopped collecting for charity, we still have our gates wide open for the community to freely come into our garden and see all the lovely lights we have on every night.”

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