A SPATE of thefts from gardens across Southampton has seen six homes targeted in just 24 hours, the Daily Echo can reveal.
Police are warning green fingered homeowners to be vigilant and urged those with valuable ornaments or plant pots to consider displaying them in back gardens, where they are less likely to attract the attention of thieves.
Thieves struck twice in Thirlmere Road, Millbrook, on Sunday night, stealing hanging baskets from outside the kitchen windows of a 93-year-old woman and her 64-year-old neighbour.
Just a few streets away a 70-year-old woman living in Munro Crescent woke up to find a large pot containing a tall tree missing from the middle of her front garden.
It is believed the thieves must have taken it away in some kind of lorry or van as it was far too big to fit into a car and too heavy to carry any distance.
In Shirley two more gardens were targeted on the same night.
Two hanging baskets full of flowers and two large pots containing wild flowers were taken from the front door area of a home in Imperial Avenue.
Meanwhile three large decorative ceramic plant pots, worth around £70 each, and a statue of an angel playing a harp, worth £50, were stolen from the front garden of a home in Richville Road.
Thieves also broke into a brick shed in Ennerdale Road, Millbrook, on Monday evening, stealing a Mountfield petrol lawn mower worth around £150.
A spokesman for Hampshire police said: “We would urge homeowners to be vigilant and consider moving anything of value to a more secure area such as a back garden.”
Anyone with any information about the thefts should contact Shirley police station on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.