Thieves target pot plants
A spate of pot plant and garden ornaments thefts has left police and victims baffled.
Matamata resident Shirley Neill is scratching her head as to why someone would come on to her property and steal her pot plants.
And she is not alone, garden ornament and planter pot thefts are among 12 reported cases in Matamata over the past month.
Neill is in her 80s and lives down a quiet cul de sac.
She loves her pot plants and takes pride in her garden, and never thought they would be stolen.
‘‘It’s terrible, you like to have the place as nice as possible and have a few flowers around.
‘‘What can you leave outside? It makes you feel awful, it does. You get frightened to leave anything outside.’’
Over the past few months she has lost a wooden planter, which she says had bottomed out and she was going to throw away anyway.
Thieves then took a one-metre outside stool and recently a big terracotta trough, complete with potting mix.
‘‘I don’t know how many I have lost, I go to get something and they are just gone.
‘‘I can’t fathom it really, it’s crazy.’’
Shirley says people have suggested children are responsible, but she doesn’t agree.
She says some of the items were large and too heavy for a Go online to our Neighourly.co.nz page to watch Shirley Neil talk about the thefts. child to lift.
But she has no idea what interest there is in stealing pot plants.
Matamata police officer in charge of the case, Sergeant Blair Hayde, says police were also baffled.
He says the best thing for people to do is increase home security so they can try and get an image of the offenders.
‘‘Remember your mobile phone probably has a camera, take a discreet photo or get the video running if you see something or someone suspicious. This is an unusual item to be targeted.
‘‘If someone tries to sell you these or they are on the community website please let us know, some of them hold great sentimental value to their owners.’’
Matamata’s Shirley Neill doesn’t know why someone would want to steal her pot plants.