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Spalding allotments hit by 20 shed raids

Allotment holders lost everything from expensive garden rotavators to hand tools when thieves broke into 20 sheds in overnight raids.

The raids at Kellet Gate, Spalding, form part of an ongoing catalogue of crime at the site, and have sparked calls for lockable, barrier-style gates to go up at the entrances.

Alf Searle never keeps anything valuable in his allotment shed. (1981413)
Alf Searle never keeps anything valuable in his allotment shed. (1981413)

Thefts are so frequent that many allotment holders don’t keep anything of value in their sheds and often leave them unlocked so would-be thieves can see there’s nothing worth stealing.

One allotment holder, who asked not to be named, said he’s suffered losses in the past but escaped the attention of thieves who struck between 6pm on May 7 and 9am on May 8.

He said: “Personally, I have had rotavators stolen, tools ... I had the shed burned down once, it was just sheer vandalism.”

As well as tools, the allotment holders also lose produce to thieves and the gardener we spoke to caught one red handed and threw apples at him as he ran away.

“About the sixth one I threw hit him on the back of the head,” he said.

Gardener Alf Searle transports his rotavator to and from the allotments each time he needs it because sheds offer no security.

He said: “If they can rob banks, a shed door is not going to stop them, is it?”

Mr Searle was warned about the ongoing thefts when he took on the allotment.

He said: “A lady told me this morning that she came in and the doors of her shed had been forced open and everything had been chucked out of the shed. That’s vandalism, isn’t it?”

Mr Searle believes the site would benefit from lockable, barrier-style gates and thinks allotment holders would be happy to pay a small charge – perhaps £2 – for that to be done.

A couple tending their allotment say they lost a 1,000 litre water butt, as did people on a neighbouring allotment.

A woman, who asked not to be named, said: “I never close my shed door ... there’s nothing expensive in it now.”

Police are asking witnesses to quote incident 52 of 8 May and call 101 or email force.control@lincs.pnn.police.uk


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