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£1,500 of gardening equipment stolen from Ipswich allotment in 'planned' raid

PUBLISHED: 05:30 07 April 2019

The metal door to the containers was broken into during the 'planned' robbery at the Belstead Allotments. Picture: JEAN LICENCE

The metal door to the containers was broken into during the 'planned' robbery at the Belstead Allotments. Picture: JEAN LICENCE

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Thousands of pounds of gardening equipment has been stolen from an allotment in Ipswich after thieves broke through two exterior fences before smashing through the metal door of a storage unit.

A wodden fence was smashed when the robbers made theri way into the site. Picture: JEAN LICENCEA wodden fence was smashed when the robbers made theri way into the site. Picture: JEAN LICENCE

The raid happened during the early hours of Monday, April 1 when a wooden perimeter fence of Belstead Allotments in Bobbits Lane was smashed apart.

A wire fence was then cut, allowing entry to the allotments and, after the door of a metal shipping container was opened, a range of gardening equipment was stolen.

The stolen equipment included a shredder, two rotavators and a generator. Various smaller items from the shed were also stolen and some plot holders sheds were also broken into. The total estimated value of the equipment stolen was £1,500.

Jean Licence, field secretary of the allotment site, said: “There have been break-ins at other allotments in Ipswich recently so I guess it was our turn. Allotments are really easy targets and the stuff can be sold really quickly. It’s the type of stuff you can sell at a car boot sale.

The wire fence surrounding the allotments was cut to allow the robbers into the area. Picture: JEAN LICENCEThe wire fence surrounding the allotments was cut to allow the robbers into the area. Picture: JEAN LICENCE

“There must have been a group of people because some of the equipment is really heavy so they must have planned it. We aren’t too upset with it, we are just really annoyed.”

There has been frustration amongst allotment owners at the response from the police.

Mrs Licence contacted the police early on Monday morning. Hhowever, they did not deem the theft serious enough to send a police car out to.

She said: “I am a little disappointed that no one from the police came out to us to be honest. Even if it was just one officer it would have been nice to see that it is important to them.

While stealing gardening equipment, the robbers trashed the metal containers which are used for storage at the allotments. Picture: JEAN LICENCEWhile stealing gardening equipment, the robbers trashed the metal containers which are used for storage at the allotments. Picture: JEAN LICENCE

“I understand that we will never see any of the stuff again and that there is very little chance of anyone being caught for it but it would be nice to feel valued.”

A Suffolk Constabulary spokesman said: “With limited resources we need to ensure these are deployed appropriately based upon the investigative opportunities presented at the time. The details of the items stolen have been shared with second-hand dealers. However, due to there being no lines of enquiry to pursue such as forensic or CCTV opportunities the file has now been finalised.

“Anyone who has knowledge of the incident, should contact Suffolk Police quoting 37/18935/19.”

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