BRAZEN thieves with an apparently keen horticultural eye are being hunted by police after a spree of 32 shrub, seven tree and two bush thefts from eight different properties in three Suffolk communities.
All the thefts took place between Monday, April 13, and Sunday, April 19, at domestic or business properties in Clare, Hundon and Wixoe. In each case, the thieves took plants from the front of the property, seemingly under cover of darkness. In one incident 30 leylandii shrubs were taken and in another, two distinctive Japanese willow (salix hakuro-nishiki), also known as flamingo trees, were stolen. A police spokeswoman said: "Officers want to hear from anyone who may have been offered such plants for sale in unusual circumstances or at a fête or car boot sale. Police would urge the public to be vigilant and report any suspicious persons or vehicles". The first recorded theft occurred between 10pm on Monday, April 13 and 6.15pm Tuesday at Hill Terrace in Clare, where two trees and a shrub were taken. Between Monday and Sunday, April 13 to 19, a currant bush was stolen from a garden in Wixoe, while another property in the village had two apple trees taken between 9pm on Thursday, April 16, and 5.25pm the next day. Five properties were targeted by the green-fingered thieves between Friday evening, April 17, and the next day. Four in Hundon and one in Clare. In Lower Road, Hundon, two properties were hit by the thieves; a shrub was stolen and an attempt made to steal another plant from one house, and a magnolia bush taken from another. Thirty leylandii shrubs were removed from a garden in Farmerie Road and the two flamingo trees taken from a propery in Galley Road.In the final theft being investigated by police a cherry tree was removed from a large pot outside Lloyds TSB, in Market Hill, Clare. Anyone with information about the thefts should contact police on 01284 774100 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
(Reproduced from the Haverhill Echo 27 April)
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