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Pastor burgled during carol service

Thieves stole Christmas presents from a pastor's house while he was in church leading a carol service.

Simon Patterson returned home in Poole, Dorset, on Sunday evening to discover that the front door was slightly open and a garden spade had been left next to it.

Inside, he found that one bedroom had been rifled through and some of his four children's Christmas presents had been taken from a wardrobe, along with a tablet computer and a woman's handbag containing a phone, purse and digital camera.

Mr Patterson, who leads Parkstone Evangelical Free Church, said: "We had a burglary while we were at a carol service and they took some presents."

He said family and friends had helped to replace the stolen gifts and urged members of the public not to donate anything.

"We've had lots of generosity and gifts from other people," he said

A Dorset Police spokeswoman said: "We were called to reports of a burglary on Ringwood Road which occurred sometime between 3.40pm and 5.50pm on December 21.

"Offenders gained access to the secured premises by forcing the front door and stole an unknown quantity of children's Christmas presents and jewellery.

"There has been no arrests."

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