Police have released video of a gang stealing almost 200 Christmas trees, ruining the festive season for shopkeepers hoping to sell them.
CCTV footageÂ shows one thief being helped by two others as he takes the trees from a yard behind the Khawaja Brothers Mini Market in Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Greater Manchester.
Police say the men stole their first batch of trees on the evening of Saturday 28 November, returning between then & Monday 30 November to load more trees into a van before they fled.
One of Khawaja Brothersâ€™ co-owners,Â Saqib Shabbir, told the Manchester Evening News that around Â£6,000 worth of Nordmann Fir trees had been taken.
Mr Shabbir, 33, said: Â "We are absolutely amazed that people could do this so close to Christmas – it is heart-breaking.
"We are just hoping somebody out there knows who did it & we are appealing to the community to assist find the people responsible."
Greater Manchester Police say the van used to take the trees has since been spotted in Chorlton, offering trees for sale.
Detective Constable Trudy Lindsey, of South Manchester division, said the shop owners had been left "devastated", adding: "This is their livelihood & the offenders selfishly put their business in jeopardy."
Anyone with information can call police on 0161 856 4973 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
Source: “Sky News”