A 19ft inflatable Christmas snowman was slashed and popped by vandals.
The large figure which delighted children and adults in the run-up to Christmas was only inflated outside Black Bear Computers in Lancaster for a matter of hours before it was targeted.
Owner of the shop on Norfolk Street,Richard Alford said: “It puts a bitter taste in your mouth.We have had children who decided to lean on the figures but we’ve never had an act of vandalism like this..
“We put the snowman up andit was slashed with a knife. It was originally just Father Christmas we put up six years ago but the weather took its toll and he was retired two years ago.We bought a new Father Christmas and a snowman and alternated between the two. We put the snowman up in the morning and by 2pm it was down.
“A lot of children and adults want to see the figures every Christmas.It has made us more nervous about putting something up.The people who come and see it say its not Christmas until our Santa goes up.
“We are still looking to get the snowman fixed, he has gone off to be stitched up.”
Richard said the Santa and snowman figures are similar to bouncy castles and are worth £750 each.
Richard said: “On the shop CCTV you can see a group of youths. The whole snowman drops down and you can see them laughing.We hope the snowman is back up soon, we will post it on Facebook to let people know. “
Police said they received a call at 1.50pm on November 25 that a large inflatable snowman outside a shop on Norfolk Street had been popped and slashed to its stomach. Staff inside heard a loud bang and found it popped. No arrests have been made. and unfortunately the CCTV camera was covered by the snowman. Call police on 101 quoting reference 618 of November 25