THE Grinch struck in Raglan on Christmas Eve, after figures of two shepherds at a nativity scene set up at a bus stop were stolen.

The unusual display outside the Beaufort Hotel on Raglan High Street featured Mary and Joseph and two shepherds - with Baby Jesus set to join them on Christmas Day.

But, when leaving the hotel, which paid for materials and decorated the bus stop, at about 10.30pm on Christmas Eve, staff realised the life-sized shepherds had been taken.

Miguel Santiago, owner at the Beaufort Hotel, said: “I can’t believe that a resident of Raglan would do something like this, and I think they may have been taken elsewhere in Monmouthshire. We have had so many people coming into the pub quite emotional about it.

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“We wanted to put our hearts back into the community with this community-driven initiative, and to know someone tried to ruin it is upsetting.

“It’s been even worse really because we know residents can’t get enough of it. Many people went into Midnight Mass at St Cadocs Church and were enjoying the nativity as they went in. Then when they came out after Mass half the nativity was gone.”

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Mr Santiago also said that the episode has not deterred him or his staff from decorating the bus stop, adding: “Next year we’ll do it better again. This has made us all more passionate to make something even stronger for the people of Raglan to enjoy.”

Liz Friendship, 83, who made the figures, said she was mystified as to why someone would steal them, and would like to know where they’ve ended up.

“I presume it was some drunken louts who left the pub and couldn’t think of anything better to do,” she said. “I’m not upset by it, but I am mystified because the figures are quite heavy – you’d have really had to work hard to shift them.”

Ms Friendship also said that the events hadn’t deterred her Christmas spirit. “If the missing figures aren’t found I will just do even more next year. We can’t let things like this get to us – I think it’s all just a little bit silly,” she said.

Some in the area reported seeing a vehicle pull up beside the nativity shortly before 10.30pm.

Any information about the whereabouts of the missing figures can be reported to police on 101, quoting incident 1900473818.

Information can also be reported anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via