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Stones Garden Centre in Sheerness offers £5k reward after break-in


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The owner of Stones Garden Centre has posted a £5,000 reward after his nursery was broken into on Saturday night.

Boss Matthew Waghorn said: “The lock on the front gate was cut and our safe, with change and the day’s takings, was taken along with a PC from the office.”

Entrance to Stones Garden Centre, Sheerness
Entrance to Stones Garden Centre, Sheerness
Chain was cut at Stones Garden Centre, Sheerness
Chain was cut at Stones Garden Centre, Sheerness

Thieves also broke into a store and escaped with power tools used by staff to work on the site in Halfway Road, Sheerness.

But the biggest loss is a collection of antique clocking-in machines used to punch workers’ time cards in factories.

Mr Waghorn had been collecting them for many years. Some were kept in the store. Others are on display in the centre’s cafe.

Burglars tried to break into other concessions on the site and forced entry into Halfway Hot Tubs.

Mr Waghorn said: “We have all been left shocked and angry that this could happen. We are all family and friends here on the site and are supporting each other. We just hope the person or people involved get caught.”

Halfway Hot Tubs was broken into at Stones Garden Centre, Sheerness
Halfway Hot Tubs was broken into at Stones Garden Centre, Sheerness
One of the antique clocking-in machines stolen from a container during a break-in at Stones Garden Centre n Halfway Road, Sheerness
One of the antique clocking-in machines stolen from a container during a break-in at Stones Garden Centre n Halfway Road, Sheerness
One of the antique clocking-in machines stolen from a container during a break-in at Stones Garden Centre n Halfway Road, Sheerness
One of the antique clocking-in machines stolen from a container during a break-in at Stones Garden Centre n Halfway Road, Sheerness
One of the antique clocking-in machines stolen from a container during a break-in at Stones Garden Centre n Halfway Road, Sheerness
One of the antique clocking-in machines stolen from a container during a break-in at Stones Garden Centre n Halfway Road, Sheerness

It is believed the raid took place at 10.30pm. It was discovered when staff opened up on Sunday morning. The business remained open and continues to trade.

Mr Waghorn’s daughter Jess, 31, said: “We’ve been back on this site since 2016 and this is the first time anything like this has happened to us since then.

"I don’t suppose we will ever get to the bottom of it but we are just trying to carry on, like you have to.

“It’s such a shame as we are beginning to get ready for Christmas. We want it to be special this year because last year Christmas didn’t seem to happen for so many people.

"New stock has arrived and the Christmas trees are expected in a few weeks’ time.”

Christmas is arriving at Stones Garden Centre, Sheerness
Christmas is arriving at Stones Garden Centre, Sheerness
Entrance to Stones Garden Centre, Sheerness
Entrance to Stones Garden Centre, Sheerness

The centre is hosting a festive craft fair on Friday, November 26.

A police spokesman said: “We are investigating a burglary where a number of tools and a safe were reported to have been stolen. Enquiries are ongoing.”

Read more: All the latest news from Sheppey

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