Thieving arsonists target allotments in Rugby

Offenders set a shed on fire and stole a number of tools
Offenders set a shed on fire and stole a number of tools

‘Mindless’ thieves stole tools from a number of allotment sheds in Rugby and set one on fire.

Four sheds were broken into between 9pm on June 13 and 8am on June 14 at Alwyn Road allotments. One shed was set alight at approximately 1am on June 14.

Police believe the suspected arson attack was an isolated incident and officers are urging people to fit locks and shed alarms to prevent the site being targeted again.

PC James Graham, of Rugby West Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “We are keen to hear from anybody that witnessed the sheds being broken into or saw the fire at the allotments on Alwyn Road between 9pm on June 13 and 8am on June 14. The fire is believed to have started at about 1am.

“Police would like to re-assure the public that the suspected arson is an isolated incident and, although shed breaks are common at this time of year, Alwyn Road has not previously been reported as an area of concern.

“Police would like to take this opportunity to encourage the public to fit good locks and shed alarms. The alarms are reasonably priced and available from most DIY stores.

“We would also like to remind the public to ensure they lock their garages to ensure opportunist thieves don’t take advantage.”

Cllr Michael Stokes, leader of Rugby Borough Council, said he hoped the offenders recognised the distress they had caused.

“As someone who rents an allotment, I know how much hard work and commitment it takes. For some, it is a hobby, whilst for others it is a big part of their lives, particularly those who have had allotments for many years or where children are involved,” he said.

“This is a mindless act of theft and vandalism, where often the damage caused far outweighs the cost of the possessions stolen and although mostly garden tools, often have a sentimental value. Allotment holders will now have to replace their belongings which along with repairing damage to property, which could be running into hundreds of pounds.”

A number of tool boxes were stolen after offenders broke into 12 allotment sheds in Ashlawn Road last month.

The thieves poured petrol on the site causing damage to crops and soil. Officers do not believe the incidents are linked.”