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Wheelchair pensioner 'stole elf'

A wheelchair-bound pensioner has been caught on camera apparently stealing a mechanical elf from a garden centre.

Chippy, the 2ft high pink-faced elf, used to wave at visitors to the nursery before it was taken, Sutton Police said.

Three female suspects were caught on CCTV unplugging Chippy.

One of them was in a wheelchair and looked like she was in her 70s.

Phil Barnden, manager of Woodcote Green Garden Centre in Wallington, Surrey, said: "I was particularly shocked that someone could stoop so low. We want him back.

"The most disappointing thing is he is not there to wave at all the little children coming in."

Mr Barnden said white-bearded Chippy and his companion elf Rusty were part of a "Santa's grotto" set-up at the nursery that helped raise money for Help the Heroes and local charities helping disabled children and the elderly.

"We have now got an empty plinth where Chippy used to sit next to his mate Rusty," said Mr Barnden. "It's like Trafalgar Square."

Police are appealing to anyone who saw the elderly woman as well as another woman aged 25-30, about 5ft 6in tall, with long black hair and a ponytail and wearing a black tracksuit.

The third suspect appeared to be a teenager who was dressed in a stripey black and white T-shirt.

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