A community was left shocked today after a real-life Grinch stole the town's Christmas tree on Christmas Eve.

Early risers in North Walsham discovered the mean theft and the North Walsham Town Council, who provided the tree for the community, passed on CCTV to the police. 

Now, a video has shown a police officer dragging a large Christmas tree back through the town after the culprit was caught.

North Walsham mayor, Mr Bob Wright, said: "I'm glad that it has been found but it, and its decorations too, have been damaged. 

"It is a bit late to try and reinstall it.

"At least it was in place and enjoyed for the four weeks leading up to Christmas."

Commenters on social media expressed their anger at the theft earlier today.

One wrote: "Disgusting, they should be ashamed of themselves. I hope the police catch them."

Another said they "can't believe people would stoop that low."