Friday, April 24, 2009

Mystery surrounds spate of statue thefts

Thursday, April 23, 2009,
TWO BRONZE statues were stolen from a garden – just days after thieves drove off with a £200,000 horse sculpture in a neighbouring village.
And a third incident this week, where a bronze horse was taken from a garden in Lingfield Common Road, has led police to believe the series of unusual thefts are linked.
Kay Holder believes thieves drove across fields and scrambled through a hedge and ditch to reach the model deer in the garden of her Dormansland home.
"They are worth about £1,000," Mrs Holder told the Courier and Observer.
"They are not of great value, unlike the horse stolen from Lingfield, but it would appear that bronze statues are being targeted."
The theft of Mrs Holder's statues is believed to have taken place on Thursday night last week. (April 16).
She said: "There has been someone here 24-hours-a-day all the week.
"The deer were underneath an old apple tree in the middle of our paddock and the day before I had driven round them on the tractor while I was cutting the grass."
That night, Mrs Holder's daughter and her boyfriend were upstairs watching television when they saw someone shining a torch and two men out in the field beyond the garden of the house in Moor Lane.
In daylight, they saw vehicle tracks leading to the bottom of the garden and marks showing a U-turn before the return journey.
"I can't understand how anyone knew the statues were there," Mrs Holder said. "The only people we see in the field are occasional dog walkers." The family has been in the house for nine years and the deer sculptures were bought from an antique shop in Westerham about three years ago.
Mrs Holder added: "The police told us there has been a lot of thefts of this kind.
"I wonder if they were stolen because they were thought to be valuable or whether the thieves were just after the bronze and the sculptures will be melted down." Last week the Courier and Observer reported how a bronze horse statue, worth around £200,000, was taken from a private garden in Crowhurst Road, Lingfield.
A Range Rover was seen on the grounds around the time of the theft, which happened overnight on April 8.

(Reproduced from the East Grinstead Courier & Observer)

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