Page last updated at 18:11 GMT, Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Santa figure stolen from roadside

An 8ft tall, stuffed, waving Santa figure
Drivers slowed to look at the waving Santa, Mr Leake said

Thieves have stolen an 8ft (2.4m) handmade Santa doll from outside a home in Warwickshshire, which residents said had helped to slow down traffic.

The festive figure was made by Alex and Barbara Leake over several nights out of old pillows. They dressed the doll in Wellington boots and a Santa suit.

They put him on a chair outside their cottage in Oxford Road, Marton, 10 days ago and drivers slowed to see him.

He was taken sometime between Monday and Tuesday, Warwickshire Police said.

Police believe someone may have taken the Santa as a prank and placed him in another garden.

Mr Leake said he and his wife made the Santa because the village had no other Christmas lights or decorations.

He said they had received many emails from passers-by who had enjoyed seeing it.

He said they were not interested in finding out who had taken it or why, they just wanted the Santa to be returned as soon as possible.

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