Burglars make off with 500 pond fish from garden centre

Suspected thieves inside Taverham Nursery near Norwich Picture: TAVERHAM NURSERY

Suspected thieves inside Taverham Nursery near Norwich Picture: TAVERHAM NURSERY - Credit: Archant

Police detectives are on the hunt for three suspects after thieves made off with a haul of £5,000 worth of live pond fish and goods after breaking into a garden centre near Norwich.

Taverham Garden Centre had only recently reopened for business following the coronavirus lockdown when the burglars struck.

They broke in between the hours of 8.30pm and 10pm on Sunday, June 14, taking garden ornaments, water fountains, fishing nets, garden flowers – and pond fish.

MORE – Pubs and brewery giant apologises for founder’s slavery linksManager Matthew Steel said they had stolen about 500 of its baby koi carp and goldfish during the break-in, as well as about 50 nets.

The garden centre was targeted by thieves a couple of years ago, he said, but since then they had ramped up security.

The centre has already taken a hit to its bottom line after being shut for two months during the coronavirus lockdown.

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“We have been very busy since, but obviously, like everyone else we have suffered,” he said. “I wasn’t very happy at all – it’s just something you don’t need.”

The burglary so incensed fellow local business Attleborough-based natural plant fertiliser company PlantGrow that it decided to donate some extra product to the garden centre in a show of solidarity.

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PlantGrow general manager Daniel Suggitt said they were just about to deliver their new tomato food to the nursery – a new customer it had taken on must prior to lockdown – when they heard about the break-in.

“We have agreed to provide a top up of all products to the value of £300,” he said. “We had learned the nursery had items stolen earlier this week, we were going in to deliver so thought we would supply some extra products being a local company close by.”

Norfolk police are appealing for anyone who recognises the description of the suspects, witnessed anything suspicious or has any dashcam footage during the hours the burglary was committed, to contact them.

The first man was described as wearing a dark grey hoodie with the hood worn over a black baseball cap, light grey tracksuit bottoms with a white stripe down the side, red trainers with white soles and black gloves.

A second man wore a grey hoodie with black baseball cap, light grey tracksuit bottoms with an Under Armour logo on the right leg and black gloves. A third man was dressed in a brown hooded jumper with the zip up, dark coloured trousers and black trainers.

Anyone with information is asked to contact PC Sion Davies on 101 quoting crime reference 36/39072/20 or alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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