Police hunt green fingered plant thief

POLICE are hunting a green-fingered thief who has made off with trees, shrubs and bushes from at least eight different gardens.

Laurence Cawley

POLICE are hunting a green-fingered thief who has made off with trees, shrubs and bushes from at least eight different gardens.

Over the past few days, police have received reports from unhappy homeowners who live as far apart as Clare and Hundon who have had various items stolen from their gardens.

The plant thief is thought to have targeted at least eight homes and each case items, which include magnolia bushes, cherry trees and current bushes, have been stolen from front gardens, largely during the evenings.

Police believe the plant thief might try and offload the trees and shrubs in unusual places such as car boot sales or fetes and have called on the public to be vigilant.

The first incident happened in Hill Terrace in Clare when a shrub was taken from the front garden sometime between Monday and Tuesday last week.

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Between Thursday and Friday last week, two apple trees were stolen from a front garden in Wixoe.

Then, in a spate of incidents between Friday and Saturday, a shrub was stolen in Lower Road, Hundon, a cherry tree was taken from a large pot outside a bank in Market Hill, Clare, 30 leylandii shrubs were stolen in Farmerie Road, Hundon, a magnolia bush was stolen from Lower Road, Hundon, and two salix hakuro-niski trees were swiped from Galley Road in Hundon.

In addition, a currant bush was taken from a front garden in Wixoe sometime between last Monday and Sunday.

A spokeswoman for the police said: “We are linking these eight crimes. Officers want to hear from anyone who may have been offered such plants for sale in unusual circumstances or at a fete or car boot sale.

“Police would urge the public to be vigilant and report any suspicious persons or vehicles.”

Anybody with information should contact police on 01284 774100 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.