More than 100 trees which took a chef two days to plant have been dug up and stolen from outside a restaurant.
The conifer trees, each about 1m high, were taken from outside the Mehfil Indian Restaurant in Canterbury Road, Charing, leaving the owner bemused as to why anyone would want to steal them.
Abul Hussain spent about £700 on the trees when he opened the restaurant two months ago and chef Shamsul Haque planted them in a garden area the size of a football pitch at the front of the building.
Mr Hussain, 36, who lives above the restaurant, said: “When I went outside in the morning and saw the trees had gone I thought Shamsul must have taken them out again for some reason, but when he didn’t know what I was talking about I realised, oh gosh, someone must have taken them.
“It was such a shock, I didn’t know what to make of it. Why would anyone steal my plants?
“Shamsul is very green fingered and he spent a few days planting all the trees with only a little bit of help. We thought they would make a nice border and make the area look nice and neat.”
Mr Hussain said Charing residents have been very supportive and have helped spread the word about his missing trees.
He added: “I don’t think they will turn up. I want to do something with the area but if I replace the conifer trees the worry is they will be stolen again. I’m not sure what to do.”
Police are investigating the theft.