Hunt for Sidmouth flower thieves

PUBLISHED: 10:14 19 July 2010

Pilferers could have wrecked town’s Bloom hopes

Police investigating two overnight thefts in a fortnight at the beauty spot said the swiped flora and fauna was carefully removed so it could be planted elsewhere.

Council officers responsible for the gardens said ‘carrier-bags’ worth of plants and flowers have been taken on more than one occasion.

The crime will hit tax-payers in the pocket as re-planting and tidying up has meant extra man hours.

“It’s not vandalism it’s outright theft,” said Mark Pollard, East Devon District Council’s parks development officer.

“It is beyond belief people risk being caught or arrested to steal 50pence plants,”

He told the Herald on Sidmouth’s South West in Bloom judgement day on Wednesday: “If it had happened last night then it could have affected the bloom result.”

He added: “The biggest cost is re-planting replacements, tidying up and checking.”

Sidmouth in Bloom president Joy Seward labelled the thefts “a great pity”.

“Everybody is doing all they can to make Sidmouth look good,” said Joy, “What a shame they have to resort to something like that, it is very sad.

“We’re an elderly committee. It’s a shame when you are doing your best for the town and people go and do that.

“If they (thieves) are into plants then let them join us and come along and plant them, or they could at least pull out the weeds.”

The latest incident of theft happened between 4.30pm last Wednesday, July 7, and 7.30am on Thursday, July 8. A Sidmouth Police spokesperson said: “It is theft and we are treating it as such.”

Officers have appealed for information and can be contacted on 08452 777444, crime reference: KS/10/352

bloom judging: Turn to page 26


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