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6th Jul, 2022

Hartlebury farm owners left counting the cost after thieves steal caravans and damage property

Ryan Smith 15th Apr, 2022

THIEVES and vandals targeted several farms in Hartlebury, in between Chaddesley Corbett and Cutnall Green, stealing items and damaging property.

The theft and destruction happened during the early hours on April 12, when the farm owners believe the intruders drove across the farmlands in three vehicles, damaging the hedges, fences and gates.

The owners said at least two caravans were stolen from a storage yard, while five more have been damaged.

A caravan on one farm was also broken into, where items were stolen including £20 worth of horse food.

The owners of a farm on Crown Lane saw the intruders leaving at approximately 5.30am on Tuesday morning.

They estimate the taken and damaged items will cost them between £150,000 and £200,000 to replace and put right.

They also said they were disappointed with the initial police response.

William Cox, whose parents own the end farm where the caravans where stolen from, said he called 101 three times on Tuesday but it was not until 7.30pm on Wednesday evening that they arrived.

Cigarette butts had been left on the farm that William believed could have provided forensic evidence but he said the police told him because it had been raining the evidence would no longer be there.

One of the other farm owners said they also called 101 but he was also told no officers would be sent to the scene.

Mr Cox added: “On my last call to the police I informed them my 80-year-old father has spent five weeks in hospital and is back in hospital on Thursday.

“I don’t know why they didn’t think they should at least attend from a welfare perspective and reassure him.

“For me elderly people having their homes burgled is unacceptable.”

Sgt Sarah Kent, from the local Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “We understand the impact being a victim of theft can have on people and I would like to offer my assurances that our enquiries are continuing into the theft of caravans from land in Hartlebury.

“An officer has attended the site to speak to the victim and offer support and the incident has been passed to our Rural and Business Officer who will continue to provide specialist support at this time.

“If anyone does have information that may help with our enquiries, in particular anyone who may have CCTV footage that captures any caravans being driven around the area between 4am and 5.30am on Tuesday 12 April, then we would encourage them to get in contact.”

Anyone who has any information or CCTV footage can report it online through www.westmerciapolice.uk/tua/tell-us-about/ or by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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