Red with rage after allotment greens are the target of thefts
POLICE are investigating a spate of thefts from allotments in Evercreech.
Police have increased patrols to Weston Town Playing Fields, home to 30 large and small allotments, following reports of missing vegetables.
David Roberts is social secretary for the Evercreech Allotment Society. He and his wife, Dawn, have had an allotment on the site for about 18 months.
He said: "A lot of veg has gone missing. Over the last few months, towards June or July, was the first time we noticed. It was little bits and bobs so people didn't take much notice.
"One of the ladies had four bushes of gooseberries gone missing and one person had a whole line of radishes.
"We didn't say much but it's gone on through the summer, the odd bit of veg pinched, someone says bits and bobs go missing.
"But about a month ago as people were getting to the end of the summer it really started to take the mick and ended up with three or four people had all of their rhubarb pinched.
"People don't grow just one, they go to town on their rhubarb and what they (the thieves) have done is cut at the level of the ground with a knife which kills the rhubarb.
"I was personally quite irritated. I couldn't get up to water anything as I was ill and only ended up with two cauliflowers and they'd cut the heads off them.
"One lady had all her cabbages stolen and half her squashes pinched over a couple of weeks.
"All in all, not counting stuff in the summer just in the last month, a couple of hundred pounds of veg has gone.
"A lot of stuff has gone so we contacted the police and they got back to us.
"At the moment we've got a sign up there as part of Farm Watch and the police are keeping an eye on it.
"We're hopefully putting CCTV up too.
"With the veg it's annoying because people put a lot of work into growing it and wait all year and tend it and just as it's ready someone pinches it.
"In terms of the rhubarb there was enough to have a stall in a market, literally that much, and the gooseberries, there was enough to run a small market stall.
"I'm not really worried about catching them I just want them to stop doing it.
"It's more irritating than anything."
Shepton Mallet police sergeant John Muers said: "We are investigating these allotment thefts, which are extremely upsetting for the gardeners as well as being a significant loss of produce.
"Our neighbourhood officers will be patrolling the area around the allotments, and we would ask anyone who sees anybody or anything suspicious to call us on 101.
"We would also like to hear from anyone who is offered fruit and vegetables for sale."