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Broad Oak allotments in Canterbury targeted by thieves

Plot holders at a city allotment are stewing after their produce was pilfered in a series of fruit and vegetable raids.

Growers at the Broad Oak allotments in Canterbury were left scratching their heads when they turned up to tend to their patches only to find items missing.

The thefts began with cherry trees being pinched from a fruit cage and then, over just one weekend, five more plots were targeted.

Broad Oak Road allotments, Canterbury
Broad Oak Road allotments, Canterbury

Glyn Clarke, who runs Broad Oak Allotment and Garden Group and has a plot at the site, says the fruit and vegetables are being stolen in bulk.

"The cherry trees was the start of the items taken," he said.

"This couldn't have been birds or animals as the tell-tale signs were missing. This was then followed by vegetables and beans disappearing."

He says there are now wildlife cameras in various places on the site, which are repositioned and rotated frequently.

"If people are caught on them, so be it," he said.

"This couldn't have been birds or animals as the tell-tale signs were missing..." Glyn Clarke

Rob Davies, spokesman for the city council, which manages Broad Oak allotment, says the authority has been made aware of the thefts.

"Although we do not know whether it is by a plot holder or someone from outside the allotment community, we have written to all plot holders to remind them not to go onto other plots without permission and not to leave anything of value on the site," he said.

Mr Clarke is urging fellow growers to make sure they lock the gates at all times, even when going on the site in Broad Oak Road for a short time.

"Even if you are only collecting/harvesting a few items from your own plot, it still gives people the opportunity to enter, steal or cause damage," he added.

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