Ipswich: Family’s fury as crooks swipe Christmas lights

IPSWICH: A big-hearted family who transform their house into Santa’s grotto for charity have been left devastated after heartless thieves stole their decorations.

Darren and Tracey Towns have been covering their home in Clapgate Lane with Christmas lights for the past three years to raise money for Leukaemia Research after their 10-year-old nephew Lewis Rowe – known as Lew-Lew – was diagnosed with the disease in 2009.

Mr Towns, 40, said: “How could someone do something like this?

“It’s for a good cause and the thieves have taken vital funds away from young children with leukaemia. It’s just so, so wrong.”

The couple, who have seven children, have raised more than �2,000 for Leukaemia Research with their yuletide illuminations which have made Christmas a bright spot in the dark days of illness for Lew-Lew.

Mrs Towns, 33, added: “Lew-Lew was diagnosed two years ago and it came as a huge shock to all the family.

“It’s because of his diagnosis that we wanted to try and do something to help in any way we could.”

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The family’s display is one of the most spectacular in town and Mr Towns said neighbours have already been asking when the bright lights will be switched on this year.

“Our lights stand out a mile and people look forward to seeing them,” he added. “The children are absolutely distraught because they like to help me put them up towards the end of October to get them ready in time.

“Neighbours and friends have been asking when we’re going to put them up so they can donate some money so I can’t let them down.

“I’m going to find some more Christmas lights from somewhere to keep our tradition going and defy the thieves.”

The break-in happened between 5pm on Sunday and 4.30pm on Monday when the thieves broke into the shed and stole the Christmas display lights.

Anyone with information should call Sgt Kathy Ellis from the Ipswich South East Safer Neighbourhood Team on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

n Do you decorate the outside of your home for Christmas for charity? Contact the Evening Star Newsdesk on 01473 324790 or e-mail starnews@eveningstar.co.uk

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