Oldcotes family “distraught” after thieves make off with outdoor Christmas display

An Oldcotes couple have been left “distraught” after thieves made off with an outdoor Christmas display at their home worth over £250.

By Ben McVay
Tuesday, 8th December 2020, 4:45 pm

Rachel Vjestica and fiance Mark Morley decorate their home with the colourful array every year following the birth of their three-year-old son - cheering up the village each Christmas.

Among models stolen are a polar bear and a snowman, four lit Christmas trees, two projectors which shone a festive scene on their home and young son Freddy's favourite - Santa in a parachute.

Mum-of-one Rachel told how Freddy - who was finally born in May 2017 after two years of disappointment while trying to conceive - had now ‘given up on Christmas’.

Rachel told how three-year-old son Freddie had now ‘given up on Christmas’

She said: “Because we thought we couldn’t have children for so long we always try to make Christmas great for Freddy.

“He’s not bothered about presents but he really looks forward to the outdoor lights going up.

“But he says he doesn’t want Santa to come after someone took the lights away - for a three-year-old to say that is heart-wrenching.”

Rachel, who runs the village’s King William pub along with Mark, described how little one Freddie was now afraid to go to sleep at night due to the home invasion.

A three-foot snowman stolen from the family home

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The raid comes after the couple’s wedding was cancelled twice by the pandemic and Rachel's sister-in-law was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer just a couple of weeks ago.

Since the lights were stolen - in the early hours of December 4 - the couple have been flooded with supportive messages from fellow villagers - even receiving flowers and chocolates.

Rachel, 35, said: “The lights cheer the whole village up - we get a lot of children coming to look at them.

Freddy's favourite Santa in the parachute display

“We also have a lot of the older generation here and a lot of them like to see them going up.

“We’ve had people from surrounding areas telling us how much they cheer the place up.”

The couple are trying to replace some of the display - however Freddie remains inconsolable about Santa in the parachute.

She said: “We’re absolutely gutted - after the year everyone has had we did this to cheer them up.”

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