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Christmas tree destroyed by vandals

Police are hunting vandals who hacked four-meters off the top of a Christmas tree in the main square in Leoben.

Detectives from Styria described the stunt as a bad joke that has left Leoben without a Xmas tree. The tip of the tree that fell back onto the rest of the tree in a tangle of Xmas lights had to be removed.

The unidentified vandal had climbed up the tree and used a hand saw - believed to have been blue - judging by the fragments of paint found on the tree.

Police spokesman Günter Angerer said it was not the first time that the regions Christmas tree had been stolen.

Last time round the thief who made off with the tree top had never been found.

Police who are investigating say that the operation had been carefully planned and it had not been a spur of the moment decision.

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