Worthing garden targeted again as thieves take sentimental Chia Pets

Sentimental terracotta figurines have again been stolen from outside a home in Worthing.

Grandmother Jackie Harris had three Chia sheep stolen from outside her Lindum Road bungalow in October 2022. They were later returned following an appeal by this newspaper.

A year-and-a-half later, thieves have struck again.

"Two of my sheep have been stolen again,” Jackie said.

On Thursday evening (April 18), the Worthing resident added: “Unfortunately we have just had some more figures stolen from our front garden.

"Two poodles (one of which was in memory of my old poodle, Toby), another dog and two wicker rabbits with flowers in their backs, two gnomes and an owl all gone.

"They must have been taken last night. I am really upset as they seem to be targeting us.”

And then on Sunday, April 28, Jackie said: “Something else has gone. Just a plantpot this time with a windmill in it and a little man. I can't believe it.”

Jackie said she feels 'threatened’, adding: “I can't understand why and what we've done to upset everyone.

“They are sentimental, especially the one in memory of my dog.”

Jackie was left devastated after the sheep went missing in 2022 and said the thieves ‘made a lot of people unhappy’.

“Everyone used to remark on them,” Jackie said. “We live right near a school so all the children go past and they all loved to look at them. The little dogs tried to bark to them.”

After the latest thefts, Jackie said: “All the kids used to love them and everyone asks where they are. They were kept in the front lawn, round the tree.

“The dogs were worth a substantial amount, the sheep were too.

“It's really awful. We feel threatened really.”

The thefts were reported to Sussex Police on Friday (April 19).

A spokesperson said: “Police received a report of garden ornaments being stolen from a property in Lindum Road, Worthing between 14 and 18 April.

“Two poodles, three gnomes, two basket-weave rabbits and an owl were reportedly stolen.

“Witnesses or anyone with any information is asked to contact Sussex Police online or call 101 quoting serial 157 of 20/04.”

According to chia.com, Chia Pets originate from the USA and they feature styled terracotta figurines used to grow chia seeds – where the chia sprouts grow within a couple of weeks to resemble the animal's fur or hair. Moistened seeds of chia are then applied to the grooved terracotta figurine body.