THIEVES have snatched valued possessions from an award-winning communal garden in Havant.
Chris Allen walked outside her flat in Woodcot Crescent, West Leigh, one morning to discover garden ornaments including a china dog, bird bath and boat anchor had gone missing.
As previously reported in The News, the 64-year-old won the Portsmouth City Council tenants’ gardening competition this year after she transformed the back yard into a riot of colour.
The contest highlighted the residents who have taken most pride in their area. Chris is furious that thieves struck because her grandson Luke Allen, five, enjoyed playing in the garden.
The possessions were worth more than £100.
She said: ‘I’m absolutely gutted and very angry. How can someone be so selfish as to do something like this? I’m a pensioner. How much money would they get from selling the anchor? I don’t think they would get that much. It was difficult explaining to my grandson that someone had taken away the things he enjoys seeing outside.
‘It’s painful and sad, but I won’t let these people stop me from doing the thing that I love, and that’s gardening.
‘It gives me great pleasure. People stop by and say they are amazed by the amount of colour in the gardens.’
Luke’s mum Emma Allen added: ‘She does so much for her community. All she thinks about is others, her family especially but she also cares for many friends who are elderly and disabled.’
Police are carrying out door-to-door enquiries and forensic tests.
Julie Knight, a police spokeswoman, said: ‘I can confirm there was a theft between 9.30pm on October 17 and 7.50pm on October 18.
‘A large flower pot had been taken from a communal garden at the rear of a property. A 4ft plastic bird bath that was secured by a chain and a 15ft metal anchor had also been removed from the back yard.’ Anyone with information should call Havant CID on 101.