Flower thief 'is a little old lady with a trowel and plastic bag'

DESPAIRING contractors have given police the description of a thief who is wrecking their summer planting along Marina and West Parade.

She's a predatory pensioner armed with a carrier bag and trowel.

To the regular predations of mindless vandals who trample ornamental beds and strew uprooted plants in all directions, John O'Conner staff now have to contend with flower-besotted wrinkly with no regard for property that is not her own.

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Workers toiled on Monday to replace dozens of plants carefully prised from the ornamental floral clock at Marina, painstakingly created to evoke the centenary of the West Parade Clock Tower.

On West Parade itself, the early-morning marauder has sneaked off with a large quantity of bedding plants.

Supervisor Tom Robinson told the Observer: "We now have a description from people who have seen her. It's a little old lady with a carrier bag and a trowel. She's out at it really early in the mornings.

"The people who work in Egerton Park and Manor Gardens are tearing their hair because of the vandals. Every morning they find plants torn out and thrown around.

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"But this is different. These have been carefully dug out and stolen.

"There's a whole lot gone. She must be taking them for her own garden. All I can say is, she must have a nice display, she's taken enough of ours from Marina and West Parade."

Neighbourhood Support Officer Andrea Gallastegui at Bexhill Police Station is appealing for anyone witnessing theft or damage from any public gardens locally to contact her on 0845 6070999.