Montrose’s town centre Christmas tree could be taken down before December 25 after vandals destroyed the lights for a sixth consecutive year.
The metal tree on the town’s High Street was targeted just before 4am on Tuesday.
The Santa Claus in Montrose group, which sets up the tree, says it has been “significantly” damaged.
Councillor Tommy Stewart, who runs the group, told The Courier he is “absolutely gutted” to see the tree targeted once again.
He said: “This is the sixth year on the trot we have had vandalism on the Christmas tree.
CCTV footage of three youths at Montrose Christmas tree
“This year we did take additional measures to try to prevent it happening again, but they’ve proved unsuccessful.
“We’ve got CCTV footage of three youths at the tree.
“You can see one of the youths scale the fence while another stands and videos it.
“One of them snaps the lights on the tree, climbs back down and then looks at their handy work before walking off.
“I said enough was enough last year but we went ahead again with additional measures this time.
“I’m sorry, but this is now game over.”
Councillor ‘lost for words’ as Christmas lights vandalised once again
He added: “I don’t have a bottomless pit of money, nor does the charity.
“The good citizens of Montrose who have supported us will be gutted, but there’s nobody more gutted than myself.
“These aren’t my lights or my trustees’ lights – these lights belong to the people of the town.
“I can’t understand why anyone would do this, what pleasure do they get out of it?
“I’m just lost for words.
“Unless we get a positive identification of the person, we will have the tree down before Christmas Day.”
Hundreds of locals have condemned the actions of the yobs on Facebook.
Police probe Montrose Christmas tree vandalism
The vandalism comes just weeks after the Santa Claus in Montrose charity hosted a day of family fun on High Street.
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We received a report that the Christmas tree on High Street, Montrose was vandalised around 3.50am on Tuesday.
“Inquiries are ongoing and anyone with any information is asked to contact 101 quoting reference 0586 of November 28 2023.”