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Page last updated at 09:44 GMT, Tuesday, 29 June 2010 10:44 UK
Thefts at Newnham Avenue allotments
Newnham Avenue Allotments in Bedford.
Allotment holders are devastated their crops have been stolen.

Police in Bedfordshire are stepping up their patrols around the allotments on Newnham Avenue in Bedford following a spate of fruit and vegetables thefts.

In June allotment holders have reported an increase of stolen crops including strawberries, gooseberries, asparagus and peas.

Allotment holder, Mark Joiner said:

"Its like locusts have descended, whole gooseberry bushes have been stripped of their fruit and patches of strawberries have had everything taken from them."

Stolen overnight

"Whoever is doing this is making a meal of it," he continued.

"I lost all my asparagus earlier in the month."

He added: "It's terrible when you see the fruits of your labour, tending and caring for your plants for months, stolen overnight.

Newnham Avenue Allotments in Bedford.

"You nurture your crops through all conditions to get some tasty food for your family, only to have someone steal it, almost literally, out of our mouths."

One allotment holder told BBC Three Counties reporter, Jenna Benson in the past he had two of his sheds burnt down.

PCSO's from Bedfordshire Police's local Safer Neighbourhood Team will increase their patrols in the area particularly at the times when the thefts are occurring.

PCSO Carol Copeland said:

"We urge allotment holders to ensure they always lock the gates onto the site behind them, even if they are just popping in for a few minutes."

Anyone who has seen a person or persons on the allotments who they do not recognise or anyone who has information are being urged to contact PCSO Carol Copeland on 01234 349830 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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