Plot thins as thieves hit vol­un­teer garden

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

Toko­roa Com­mu­nity Garden man­ager, Bob Pud­ney is frus­trated with the on­go­ing theft of pro­duce.

The gar­dens which are run by a team of ded­i­cated vol­un­teers, sell lo­cally grown veg­eta­bles at rea­son­able prices with all pro­ceeds from the sales go­ing to a char­ity group and the garden’s monthly rent and water charges.

Mr Pud­ney said those steal­ing from the gar­dens are killing crops.

‘‘There is a lot of peo­ple coming down in the af­ter­noons when no one is here and help­ing them­selves to the plants and killing off sur­round­ing plants when they re­alise that they have pulled the crops be­fore they are due.’’

Ac­cord­ing to Mr Pud­ney 20 per cent of the garden’s pro­duce is be­ing stolen.

‘‘We are a not-for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion run by vol­un­teers.

‘‘If you want veg­eta­bles, all we ask is that you come down spend a few hours at the garden and we will give you a bag of free vege ta­bles.’’

The Toko­roa Com­mu­nity Gar­dens Trust are look­ing at in­stalling a sen­sor cam­era and video cam­eras to watch to ap­pre­hend thieves.

‘‘It’s a sad state of af­fairs,’’ Mr Pud­ney said.

‘‘We are now hav­ing to spend money on se­cu­rity when that money would be bet­ter used in our com­mu­nity.’’

One per­son has been tres­passed from the site af­ter be­ing caught red handed.

If you have any in­for­ma­tion about the thefts please con­tact the Toko­roa po­lice.

STRIPPED DOWN: Toko­roa Com­mu­nity Garden man­ager Bob Pud­ney in the plot of corn which was stripped of its pro­duce by thieves.

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