Thefts from honesty box upset stallholder

A VILLAGER has spoken of her disappointment following mysterious thefts of produce from her honesty box stall.

The eggs, and even a jar of lemon curd, from the stand in Hepworth, near Bury St Edmunds, have also been used to damage cars in the village.

Nicola Yorke, 39, said the stall – which she runs with husband Andrew at their home in Beck Street – has been targeted for the past four months, and it is a mystery as to who is behind it.

Honesty boxes rely on trust as customers place the money for the items in an unattended box.

The couple, who live on the outskirts of the village, have been running the stall for about five to six years and sell homemade jams, curd, marmalade, eggs, gifts and vegetables.

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Mrs Yorke said: “It’s just so disappointing. A lot of the neighbours have written on the pad kept on the gate ‘we love your lemon curd’. We are not going to give up, but at the same time it’s really annoying.”

She said it was not the money which bothered her, but the time and effort that went into making the produce. “We don’t charge a fortune for it, just �1.50 a jar.”

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Mrs Yorke said it all began in June with people raiding the stall at night and stealing eggs and jam and then throwing them at cars in the village.

“And then that all stopped but now it has started again. It’s happening during the day which makes me think it’s somebody different and they are either stealing them to eat or sell on.”

She added how the thefts made no sense. Last Thursday morning five jars of jam were stolen, but two others were left and so were the gifts.

“It’s a lovely village which makes us all think somebody is coming from somewhere else and doing this.”

Police are appealing for information following the incidents, which also include the theft of cash left by genuine customers.

PCSO Jonathan Burke, of the St Edmundsbury Rural North Safer Neighbourhood Team, said the team had offered support and crime reduction advice as well as carrying out inquiries in the area.

“It has also affected others in the village who have had their cars damaged, some repeatedly,” he said.

Anyone with any information should call Sgt Kevin Jay at the Safer Neighbourhood Team on 01284 774100.

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