Thieves tar­get pot plants

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Local News - REXINE HAWES

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.’’

REXINE HAWES/STUFF

Matamata’s Shirley Neill doesn’t know why some­one would want to steal her pot plants.

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