Gardeners confused after allotment trespassers steal instant coffee and soup

Bridge Street allotments in Hadleigh. Strange break-ins have left gardeners confused Picture: SU AND

Bridge Street allotments in Hadleigh. Strange break-ins have left gardeners confused Picture: SU ANDERSON - Credit: Archant

Allotment keepers in one Suffolk town are becoming concerned about the strange break-ins on their patch.

Gardeners in Hadleigh are becoming increasingly confused by unknown trespassers entering their green space at night and breaking into sheds and polytunnels - but not taking any valuables.

Alan Moyes, 72, of Clopton Gardens, says his shed in one of Hadleigh's allotments was broken into, but only a packet of instant soup and a small gas hob was taken.

Mr Moyes said: "They're not damaging anyone's crops, they're not taking any vegetables, but they keep breaking into our sheds.

"I have a piece of plywood across the door to my shed, connected to a greenhouse. Someone must have spent hours chiselling through that plank to get into the shed, but then they didn't take anything valuable.

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"I've lost a small gas hob, I know other people have lost hand tools, but the total to replace everything can't be more than £50 or so."

Mr Moyes said the would-be thieves also appeared to have used an angle grinder to get through some much tougher stainless steel padlocks, but they have still left behind expensive rotovators, and lawnmowers.

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He added: "My biggest concern is that someone is 'casing the joint' and waiting to come back with a van and take everything at once.

"I've been going to this allotment for 10 years, and this has been a problem for 10 years.

"It certainly seems to be getting more frequent though, it's practically every night."

Others took to Facebook to voice their dismay about the break-ins.

One used was especially angry that someone would tamper with their 90-year-old grandfather's patch, calling the perpetrators "selfish" and called for them to "consider the effect this has on others".

Another allotment keeper reported having a similar experience to Mr Moyes, saying: "We only had coffee and soup packets stolen at Bridge Street. Nice little portable gas cooker and bottle not touched though.

"Nothing thrown about either, just lots of damage to door. Very strange behaviours."

Hadleigh Town Council has asked allotment goers to remain vigilant and to contact the council of anyone discovers another break-in at the Bridge Street or Toppesfield Close allotments.

The Suffolk Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners (SSALG) has been approached for comment.

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