Villagers offer £1k to find couple involved in £4k yard break-in

England's only Hyacinth grower, Alan Shipp, was victim to another break-in at his yard on Burgess Drove, Waterbeach

England's only Hyacinth grower, Alan Shipp (pictured), was victim to another break-in at his yard on Burgess Drove, Waterbeach, on July 26. - Credit: Ben Hudson

Villagers are offering a £1,000 reward for information leading to a couple that broke into a resident’s yard and stole a ride-on mower worth £4,000.

The man and woman entered the yard on Burgess Drove in Waterbeach, owned by England’s only Hyacinth grower Alan Shipp, during July 26 between the hours of 10pm and 12am. 

They were picked up on 84-year-old Alan’s CCTV camera stealing the one-year-old mower while turning his yard completely upside down, damaging boxes and bulbs. 

“It’s not the loss of the machinery that bothers me as much, it’s what they’ve done to the bulbs,” said Alan. 

Both Alan and a couple of villagers quickly recognised that the couple who broke in this time were the same couple who have stolen machinery from him previously. 

England's only Hyacinth grower, Alan Shipp, was victim to another break-in at his yard on Burgess Drove, Waterbeach

England's only Hyacinth grower, Alan Shipp, was victim to another break-in at his yard on Burgess Drove, Waterbeach, on July 26. - Credit: Ben Hudson

Ben Hudson, one of the villagers who has put money towards the £1,000 reward, said: “I don’t know how many times he’s been robbed but they’ve got away with doing this too many times now. 

“They were there over an hour. They lifted one of the gates off to gain entry to Alan’s yard and in the process of stealing the mower, they made a right mess, chucking all his bulbs everywhere. 

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“His bulbs had been sorted into different varieties and they ended up on the floor all mixed up. They got crushed when the couple took the mower.” 

He added: “The problem is, these people know they’re going to get away with it, especially when they’re stealing from someone that’s vulnerable – an older gentleman.” 

After the break in, both Ben and another resident, Nigel Seamark, decided to set up a reward in hopes they will receive information that can lead to the arrest of the couple responsible. 

“Nigel put £500 towards the reward and I decided to match this, so it currently stands at £1,000. 

“If anyone has information, please get in contact with us.” 

England's only Hyacinth grower, Alan Shipp was victim to another break-in at his yard on Burgess Drove, Waterbeach

England's only Hyacinth grower, Alan Shipp (pictured) was victim to another break-in at his yard on Burgess Drove, Waterbeach, on July 26. - Credit: Ben Hudson

If you have information that could help find those responsible for this break-in, please contact Alan Shipp on 01223 571064.

A spokesperson from Cambridgeshire Constabulary said: "We are investigating reports of a theft of garden machinery in Burgess Drove, Waterbeach which took place t about 10.30pm on 26 July.

"Anyone with information is asked to contact 101 quoting reference 35/53713/22."