Stolen ornament stash baffles police
10:45 04 June 2014
Police discover Loch Ness Monster, Romeo and Juliet and giant horse’s head among ornament stash ‘dumped’ in garden.
A STUNNED holiday maker returned home this week to find a stash of stolen garden ornaments in the back garden of his Westward Ho! home.
A series of thefts from gardens in the area during February and March had baffled police officers - until they received a call from the shocked home owner on Thursday.
The man, who asked not to be named, discovered an array of items including a giant horse’s head, the Loch Ness monster and a wooden duck thrown into his garden.
PC Derek Broadribb and PCSO Paul Uden braved the brambles to recover the stash, before spending a sunny Friday afternoon reuniting the ornaments with their owners.
“Normally when people see the police on their doorstep they aren’t smiling so much,” said PC Derek Broadribb.
Although there were cheerful reunions for many, a number of items still remain unclaimed at Bideford Police Station.
“We think some people probably didn’t think it was worth reporting, but we’d like to be able to reunite all of the recovered items with their owners,” added PC Broadribb.
Liz and David Ayres, who live in Westward Ho! were delighted to be reunited with their white Wiltshire horse’s head, which has sat outside their house for 30 years.
“We brought it down with us when we moved here in 1984, so we’re delighted to have it back where it belongs,” said Mrs Ayres.
Meanwhile Carol Smith had a happy reunion with her Loch Ness Monster statue.
“I never thought I would see it again, so I went out and bought some more – now it can join the others back where it belongs,” she said.
While a number of the ornaments are still unclaimed, there are also several that have not been found, including a one-metre high concrete butler statue.
No arrests have been made in relation to the thefts and police are still investigating.
Anyone who has any information or believes one of the unclaimed ornaments is theirs can call police on 101 quoting crime reference A/14/679.
For more photographs of the unclaimed items, visit www.northdevongazette.co.uk or follow Bideford Police on Facebook.