OAP flower thief caught on camera: Images show him stealing from plant pots

ARMED with a trowel and spade, he is not Calderdale's most usual suspect.

But a light-fingered OAP has been filmed stealing flowers from plant plots along a town's landmark bridge.

The elderly man was captured on CCTV at County Bridge, Sowerby Bridge, digging up geraniums and shrubs planted by the town's In Bloom committee.

In a separate incident yobs have ripped off four of the empty 350 metal plant pots where the flowers had been, and thrown them in the River Calder.

Samantha Ward, a Calderdale Council parks officer and project co-ordinator for Sowerby Bridge In Bloom, said: "We couldn't believe it when we heard what had happened.

"The flowers had been disappearing for a while and it was a real mystery where they were going.

"The CCTV has captured an OAP coming along in broad daylight and digging up the plants using a trowel and spade.

"Once the planters were empty, drunken people were ripping them off and throwing them in the river.

"It's a real shame, Sowerby Bridge was looking lovely this year and had a really strong In Bloom bid."

Councillor Martin Peel (Con, Sowerby Bridge), a former police officer in the town, said: "This is a first for me.

"I have never heard of pensioners stealing flowers in Sowerby Bridge before – usually it is a drunk person stealing a rose to appease a loved one on the way home.

"But the damage that has been done is a real shame.

"We all put in a lot of effort this year and don't need things like this."

Mark Andrew, chairman of Sowerby Bridge in Bloom, said he was livid.

He said: "I was disgusted to see what had been done to the floral displays on the bridge.

"It is just another example of this kind of activity done to property in the town."

Earlier this summer the Courier reported more than 1,000 of plants had been plundered from public spaces in Ripponden, Bolton Brow and Sowerby Bridge.

Calderdale Council has reported the matter to police.

A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said: "If anyone did see this alleged incident then please contact police on 0845 6060606."


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