Garden ornaments targeted in recent spate of thefts

STATUES, ceramic pots and even a concrete elephant are among a host of garden ornaments that have been stolen from gardens across East Cambridgeshire.

Police say crooks have been specifically targeting ornaments in recent weeks, with at least 12 incidents stretching back to April.

It is thought thieves may be trying to cash in by selling on the ornaments. Now police have released an image of one of the stolen items – a two-foot tall elephant - in a bid to catch those responsible.

The elephant was taken from outside a home in Thirlwall Drive, Fordham, between 10.30pm on June 19 and 8am the following day. The theft is one of a string of incidents police are investigating in the area.

Four thefts occurred in Soham during April: a three-foot ornate Victorian chimney pot was stolen from Fountain Lane; a terracotta ball, cone and cylinder were taken from a garden in Sand Street; an ornamental chimney was stolen from Pratt Street and metal coated square tubs were taken in Bittern Grove.

That month thieves also helped themselves to concrete stands in Station Road, Haddenham, and two concrete flowerpots were taken from Ely Road, Witchford.

In May, a three-foot stone statue of a hat-wearing woman pushing a wheel barrow was stolen from a garden in Frank Bridges Close, Soham.

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So far this month a sandstone dog labelled ‘beware of the owner’ was stolen from Clarks Drove, Soham, an urn on a pedestal atop a three-foot column was taken from Strollers Way, Stetchworth, and two black ceramic pots were stolen from Cedar Gardens, Burwell.

The latest incident saw a stone figurine stolen from Henley Way between 9am on June 22 and 4pm on Monday (June 25).

Detective Inspector Donna Wass said: “These are very distinctive items and some are very heavy, such as the concrete elephant which would have required more than one person to move.

“I would urge anyone who knows who is responsible for these thefts, or has been offered these items for sale, to contact police.”

Anyone with any information should call DI Wass on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.