Garden centre site: 15th break-in in 15 months

A man was left frustrated and upset after the site of his former garden centre was broken into for the 15th time in as many months.

Vandals have once again targeted the premises which was previously Greetham Garden Centre and owner David Penny says he has had enough of clearing the mess.

Although the premises in Oakham Road is now derelict following the closure of the business in September 2012, intruders keep breaking in and causing damage which runs into hundreds of pounds to repair each time.

Mr Penny discovered the latest break-in when he visited the site on Thursday, February 27.

The culprits had broken through the chain link fence and forced open the locked back door of the kitchen.

He has reported the incident, which happened during the past month, to police. They believe the suspects may have been looking for copper wire and metal to sell on.

Mr Penny, 63, who lives in Hall Close, Whissendine, said: ?It?s all been very upsetting.

?I had a marvellous time at the garden centre for 20 years and it was a real part of the community. But now it?s a desolate place and every time I visit I?m reminded of how desperate and depressing the situation is.

?There?s really nothing of value to take, so I don?t know why it keeps being targeted. It can?t be the same people who keep going back.

?I feel vulnerable and frustrated that people can keep doing this.?

Mr Penny had been using the premises as storage for his landscape gardening business after the company closed under the previous tenants.

He cleared the site during autumn last year after several break-ins in the summer.

In July, the Mercury reported how intruders slashed trailer tyres, threw paint around and ripped plastic sheeting after breaking a padlock on a metal gate to get in. They also poured oil, diesel and weedkiller onto a workshop floor, and got into an out building and threw around till rolls and cheque books, which were in storage.

In October 2012, thieves stole more than ?5,000 worth of gardening equipment from Mr Penny?s site during four burglaries in five days.

He now admits he may look to sell the land as to fully secure the site would cost many thousands of pounds.

Mr Penny added: ?I had to clear the site because I knew the idiots would be back.

?I really do wish they would leave it alone.

?If anyone has seen anything suspicious I would urge them to let the police know because I?m reporting every incident.?

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