Sheds raided at allotments
MORE than a dozen sheds off Wheeler Avenue were broken into overnight on Monday as vandals tore doors off and ransacked storage areas around the local allotments.
It is the second time this year that vandals have broken into the allotments in Stratton after a number of tools were stolen from the site back in March.
Plot holders have been assessing the damage done in the latest spree during the long weekend, and nothing substantial has been reported missing. It is thought the vandals gained access through the back gate to the site as the lock has been broken for just over a week.
They then proceeded to rip shed doors from their hinges and rummage around the contents of each shed.
Terry Reynolds, 68, of Wheeler Avenue, is the allotment representative and said he was furious that the same thing could happen twice.
“The lady who lives across the way was the first one to realise what had happened,” he said. “She rang me at about 8.30am on Monday and told me there were at least three sheds that had their doors wrenched open.
“When I went out to have a look myself there were two of the other guys out by their plots who told me theirs had been done as well. I went round and saw that the locks on a lot of the sheds were either missing or pulled off.”
Terry said nothing could be done about the gate lock until next week when council officers return from leave.
“I got in touch with Mark Jennings at the council straight away because he has responsibility but he is on leave until September 3,” he said. “That way these idiots can come and go as they please until normal service has resumed.”
While nothing has been reported stolen Terry says it is likely something will be missing.
“Back in March four lads climbed over the fence and broke in,” he said. “Three of them did a runner on bikes and the fourth went down Cricklade Road and was stopped by police with allotment tools on him.
“Quite a few tools were taken last time and the damage was horrendous, but this time they have just dragged all the stuff out and left it.
“This time around I would say there has been a maximum of 18 sheds damaged in terms of locks ripped off or part of the doors damaged. The panels on the door of mine have been torn off but they didn’t get through my lock.
“It is just mindless, wanton criminal damage. There is no other way to look at it.”
Anyone with any information about the incident should contact Wiltshire Police on non-emergency number 101.