Vandals torch nativity scene with petrol bombs causing £10,000 worth of damage
Despicable vandals chucked petrol bombs at a nativity scene, causing £10,000 worth of damage.
Hand-crafted figures had been installed in a bus shelter for families to enjoy over the festive period, but smoke was seen billowing from the scene on Christmas Eve as a fire ripped through the makeshift stable.
The firebombing destroyed a shepherd, Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus with only the three wise men surviving, Wales Online reports.
The shocking fire unfolded at the shelter in Raglan, Monmouthshire, south-east Wales.
Villagers are now appealing for help to catch those responsible and are offering a £2,500 reward for any information.
Miguel Santiago, owner of the nearby Beaufort Hotel, said: "I was in the hotel when I saw the fire and I went into panic mode.
"There is a woman in her 80s who lives nearby so I knew it had to be put out quickly.
"It’s a shame because so much effort went into putting it together this year.
"We added three kings which really made it a great sight. We made sure the figures couldn’t be taken by fixing them down.
"It’s really disappointing that this has happened but the locals have been great and we will be back next year with a bigger and better nativity."
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The wooden nativity is funded by the Beaufort Hotel and put together by Liz Friendship.
Liz said the happy festive scene has also been targeted by thieves in the past.
She said: "In 2018 Mary was taken, in 2019 two shepherds were stolen and never came back, and in 2020 it's burnt down.
"It’s now just three kings staring at the bus stop. It’s very sad."
A spokeswoman for Gwent Police said: "Officers are investigating a report of criminal damage to a nativity scene on the High Street, in Raglan on Christmas Eve.
""It has been reported that fire damage was caused to the set at approximately 9.45pm on the evening of Thursday 24th December 2020.
"The scene that belonged to the Beaufort Hotel was totally damaged as a result."
Anyone with information should call police on 101.
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