Rush of gnome kidnaps as thieves target gardens


Staff reporter (Leader Live)

GNOMES, birdbaths and  garden ornaments are being targeted by thieves.

North Wales Police (NWP) Wrexham town centre inspector Paul Wycherley said there has been a 60 per cent surge in thefts from gardens.

And he has even suggested people only display items in their back gardens for fear of them being pinched.

Other items falliing foul of thieves have included plant pots, newly-planted flowers and even hanging baskets.

In one case, a bird bath measuring four feet high was stolen in the town.

Figures from April 1 to June 17 have shown a 60 per cent spike in thefts, compared with the same two-and-a-half month period in 2013.

Insp Wycherley is appealing for information about the whereabouts of items and the offenders.

He said: “This is a very sharp rise and a significant increase on our figures for last year.

“We have had all manner of things taken from gardens including plants which have only just been planted in the ground, hanging baskets, ornaments, pots, in one case a four feet high bird bath was taken.

“Someone in the town must know where these items are ending up and I would appeal to anyone with information to contact us.

“An investigation is ongoing and in the meantime I’d ask people not to display valuable items in their front gardens. They are much safer in back gardens.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact NWP on 101 or phone Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

l MOBILE phones are being taken from bags left on the floor in bars when revellers go to dance.

North Wales Police said it had seen a spike in thefts of mobile phones in Wrexham’s bars, pubs and clubs since April 1.

Insp Wycherley said: “We’ve seen a sharp rise in mobiles being taken from handbags across our licensed premises in Wrexham.

“It is becoming a major problem and an investigation is underway.

“In the meantime, I urge people to be vigilant and for women to keep their bags on them at all times. I know there is a tendency to leave them  at the side of a room or under a chair.

“We don’t want people to become a victim of crime so we ask people to be as careful as possible on nights out in Wrexham.”

Anyone with information on the thefts can contact North Wales Police on 101.

See full story in the Leader

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