Allotment thieves strike again

Whitby Allotments that have had breakins recently. Picture by Kathryn Bulmer.

Whitby Allotments that have had breakins recently. Picture by Kathryn Bulmer.

A gang of thieves is believed to be targeting Whitby after an entire community of allotment holders was burgled overnight on Monday.

In April, more than 30 smallholdings at Prospect Hill Allotments were broken into and thousands of pounds worth of tools taken.

This week’s incident, which police believe took place overnight from Monday into Tuesday, saw a similar number of allotments - although police can not confirm the exact amount - have again been broken into, this time at Green Lane allotments on Whitby’s East side.

“It’s just disgusting,” said Whitby town councillor Simon Parkes, who keeps an allotment at Prospect Hill. “It has got to be the same group of people who obviously see Whitby as an easy touch.”

The thieves once again stole a large quantity of gardening machinery, including rotovators and generators valued at thousands of pounds.

Due to the amount of equipment which has been stolen, officers believe the thieves will have needed to use a large vehicle to remove the stolen property.

After April’s break-ins, Whitby Police inspector Andy Colbourne refuted victim’s claims that it must have been the work of an organised group of criminals.

However, Cllr Parkes added: “Whitby people are very trusting as we don’t have a lot of crime here so we are not always on our guard.

“Unfortunately, there are people who are always going to take advantage of that.”

Police explained how high value goods are likely to be resold online, while smaller items are likely to appear on car boot sales. However, these are not expected to be local and so it is unlikely for the items to be recovered.

“It’s therefore about preventing the crime in the first place,” added Cllr Parkes, who intends to meet with allotment management teams in the area in an attempt to spread security advice. He added: “When Prospect Hill was broken into, anybody who had a reinforced door on their shed and strong locks, was left alone, and I think that’s the message we need to spread.”

Anyone who has seen any suspicious people or vehicles in the area over the last few days should contact Whitby police on 101, select option 2 and ask for the station by name.

For those who would prefer to remain anonymous, please contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555111. Please quote reference number NYP-12082014-0110.




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