Green-fingered alert over garden vandals

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A SPATE of garden furniture thefts which left victims hundreds of pounds out of pocket has sparked a police investigation.

The homes of shocked residents throughout Leigh were targeted in the space of just 24 hours.

Incidents included raided gardens, rubbish from bins being emptied onto drives,, hanging baskets pulled down and stolen furniture.

A spokesman from Greater Manchester Police said: “Over the weekend, we have seen a number of incidents where people’s gardens have been targeted and vandalised.

“We have had reports of rubbish being emptied, hanging baskets pulled down and attacked and plants pulled from their decorative pots.

“This sort of wanton destruction has clearly caused a lot of unrest and upset in the community and we need to find the culprits.

“It may have been the actions of a very small number of people who thought it ‘was a bit of a laugh’ but we treat this sort of behaviour very seriously and the actions of these offenders have caused people a great deal of upset. I would appeal to anyone who has information about what happened to come forward.”

The vandalism began at 4pm in the afternoon in Golborne and then continued onto Blackburn Close in Lowton. Residents at Westleigh Lodge Nursing Home were also disturbed during the night when items were stolen from the garden.

Pensioners Gordon and Marian Ainsworth from Aspull were asleep when their garden was raided.

Marian, 67, said: “I’m gobsmacked. We didn’t know anything had happened until the morning when we realised that our trees and all of our chairs had gone.

“I can’t believe somebody would do that. It’s been really expensive to replace all of our furniture and now we keep them locked away in the garage.

“It’s terrible when you don’t feel safe in your own neighbourhood and have to keep things permanently shut away just incase.

“The garden at the back is quite isolated as it is just fields. So we’ve been thinking about getting CCTV installed because it’s frightening when you’ve worked hard.”