A Christmas tree worth £700 standing outside L'Autre Pied restaurant in Marylebone, London, was stolen over the weekend in full view of the restaurant's CCTV cameras.
L'Autre Pied put up the Norwegian fir, worth approximately £140 and decorated with £550 worth of decorations, on 21 November. However it was stolen at around 2.48am on Sunday morning (11 December). The theft has been reported to the police and images of the perpetrators' faces were caught on CCTV. However, no leads have been reported as yet.
Owner David Moore is offering dinner for two at the restaurant to anyone who can provide information that leads to the return of the tree, and has been appealing for witnesses via social media. A tree belonging to sister restaurant Pied à Terre in London's Fitzrovia has since been chained to railings, and Moore advises other hospitality establishments do the same.
"If you've invested heavily in your decorations and expect them to stay where they are unprotected, there are definitely Grinches out there stealing decorations," he said. "It was a gorgeous tree. My nicest ever."
However, he added that they have received lots of support from regular customers, and one has even offered to buy the restaurant a new tree.
He said: "We'll not put a new tree up but if anyone wants to donate to Great Ormond Street, all donations will be gratefully received on their behalf."