Thief caught on CCTV stealing plants worth £500 from newly-opened Green Welly Garden Centre in Chatteris
- Credit: Supplied/Nadia Hobbs
A brazen thief has been caught on camera stealing £500 worth of plants and trees from a recently-opened garden centre in Chatteris.
The owner of The Green Welly Garden Centre, which opened in March, was left "devastated" when she woke up to find £500 worth of stock missing.
In the CCTV video, a man whose face is covered by a hoody can be seen walking around the garden centre picking up plants and casually placing them into a large trolley. The incident happened between 6.30pm and 7.30pm on Thursday October 24.
Nadia Hobbs, who runs the garden centre on Doddington Road, said: "We are devastated that someone would take from a brand new business while we are trying to get on our feet.
Miss Hobbs said she only realised that something wasn't right when she saw "a lot of gaps on the plant tables" when she went outside to do her usual check of the garden centre this morning.
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"It was only when I walked around a bit more that I realised they had taken a whole table's worth of plants," she added.
"I'm a bit upset about it all and I just don't understand why anyone would do something like this to a new business.
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"It seems like it was an opportunist who tried to get in, or maybe someone that had been planning it, because they seemed to know where the cameras were - they had their heads down most of the time.
"I never thought that people would think about nicking plants, because they are not exactly high value. It's not really worth it, but that's still not the point."
Nadia's mum, Maria Whiting, said: "My daughter's new six-month-old business has been robbed. This person knew what they were going for."
"Local landscapers please be aware if you are offered bay trees or laurels."
The Green Welly Garden Centre remained open as normal the next day because, as Nadia said, "we need to keep trading and recoup some of the money.
"If anyone saw anything along the A142 between Jack's and Applegreen roundabout, from around 6.30pm to 7.30pm, please ring the garden centre on 01354 691296.
"Someone must have seen or heard something."
A police spokesman said: "We were called at about 9.30am today (October 25) with reports of a theft at the Green Welly Café in Doddington Road, Chatteris.
"Between 6.30pm and 7.30pm last night (October 24) a number of high value plants were stolen from an outside area of the site.
"An investigation is ongoing, but no arrests have yet been made."
Anyone with information regarding this incident should call police on 101 quoting 35/76359/19 or visit www.cambs.police.uk/report.
Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.