A Santa Claus decoration that was swiped from a Ringwood pub before Christmas two years ago has mysteriously returned.
The Father Christmas was taken from the London Tavern in Poulner during Advent in 2019.
Landlord Phil Hoyle appealed for the return of the 12-inch-high figure and asked the miscreants to show some Christmas spirit.
He had given up all hope of seeing the little fella again until he went to open his multi award-winning hostelry this December and saw that Santa had been brought back.
An accompanying note expressed the thieves’ sorrow and further explained that ‘we had drunk far too much’.
Phil said: “We are delighted he’s been returned and thank those who walked off with him for bringing him back.
“He appears in good shape despite his ordeal and is still clutching the pair of skis he had with him.
“We had got him to promote our Alpine Bar which we ran that year and he really did light up children’s faces.
“This Christmas we are delighted to be open properly after all the Covid restrictions and have great beer, great food and great entertainment.
“The decorations are up, the log fire is on and our Santa is back above the bar where he belongs.
“Those who took him are forgiven and they are welcome back as long as they drink as much as they did on the night of the crime – and leave all our decorations alone.”