Despair as vandals target former garden centre

A cocktail of oil, diesel  and weedkiller poured onto the floor of one of the workshops at the former Greetham Garden Centre site'Photo: MSMP170713-014js
A cocktail of oil, diesel and weedkiller poured onto the floor of one of the workshops at the former Greetham Garden Centre site'Photo: MSMP170713-014js
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A garden designer was left angry and upset after vandals broke into his property and caused damage that will cost thousands of pounds to repair.

The intruders slashed trailer tyres, threw paint around and ripped plastic sheeting after breaking a padlock on a metal gate to get into the former Greetham Garden Centre site in Oakham Road.

David Penny surveys the trail of damage left on the former Greetham Garden Centre site'Photo: MSMP170713-005ow

David Penny surveys the trail of damage left on the former Greetham Garden Centre site'Photo: MSMP170713-005ow

They also poured oil, diesel and weedkiller onto the floor of one of the workshops, and got into an out building and threw around till rolls and cheque books, which were in storage.

The break-in, which happened between 5.30pm on Saturday and 8.30am on Monday, is the ninth at the site since October last year.

The premises is owned by landscape garden designer David Penny.

Mr Penny was notified of the damage on Monday morning when a sub-contractor of his business arrived at the site. He then rushed down to the premises and called the police immediately after being shocked by what he saw.

Mr Penny, of Hall Close, Whissendine, said: “It looked like a bomb had gone off. It was dreadful.

“They’ve tried causing as much damage as they could.

“There was paint everywhere, the plastic sheets at the site of the canopies had been slashed and they had got into an outbuilding an thrown around till rolls and cheque books.

“And they also slashed three tyres of my Ifor Williams trailer, which indicates they may come back for it. It has since been removed.

“To repair the damage and clear-up the place is going to run into the thousands.

“I haven’t started yet but it’s going to take hours of work to clear it up.

“It’s really going to be a monumental task.”

Mr Penny sold Greetham Garden Centre more than three years ago but retained some land.

The new owners closed the garden centre last year, citing the economic climate. It is now derelict.

In October last year, thieves stole more than £5,000 worth of gardening equipment from Mr Penny’s site during four burglaries in five days.

The site was then burgled twice between November and December and twice more at the end of February.

Mr Penny said: “I think they’ve broken in looking to steal and when they’ve realised there is nothing to steal, they have decided to trash the place. It is pathetic vandalism.

“It’s been very depressing and I feel personally damaged, not just by this break-in but in all the ones I’ve had recently.

“I don’t know why people are targeting us.”

Mr Penny and police are now urgently appealing for witnesses to come forward.

Those with information should call police on 101 and quote incident number LR826131.