Callous thieves leave children’s allotment bare and even take their pet chickens

A Grimsby mother with two special needs children is devastated after all gardening tools are stolen and their pet chickens are taken from their allotment.

Deana Clarkson took over the property on Carr Lane at the beginning of the initial lockdown to provide safe outdoor activity for daughters, Macy, 11, and Tilly, 7, who have autism, and three-year-old Letty.

Cruel thieves first struck a few months ago when they opened a small gap and pulled their two chickens out of their coop.

This month they struck again, broke into the greenhouse and took all of the children’s gardening tools, dug their planters out of the ground and stole metal fences along the property line.

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Tilly and Macy in the writing of the coop that housed the chickens before they were cruelly taken

Deana said, “I just wanted them to do something nice during the lockdown. I thought it was important that they could focus on something and it’s outside and safe because they can distance themselves from other people.

“Tilly, in particular, needs to be busy. She loved going down and getting involved, they all loved digging in the mud and having water fights with the hose line.”

Both chickens were nowhere to be seen after the raid and Deana said it was annoying to come out onto the property and find the empty basket of feathers covering the floor near the opening.

She said, “We had had the chickens for a while when they were taken. They were our pets and they became part of the family.

“Tilly liked to come down and show them around the lot when she gave them food, all children loved her.

“To have them taken like that and see the tiny hole they were pulled through is disgusting.”

Macy and one of the pet chickens in happier times

Macy and one of the pet chickens in happier times

The thefts were particularly difficult to explain for Deana, Tilly, who was told the animals had escaped.

She said, “I just couldn’t explain it to her. How would you explain to a child that someone came and took their pets? It’s just cruel.”

Deana said taking the chickens meant the family less visited the parcel, but they still planted vegetables, including Tilly’s favorite broccoli.

However, when the family returned to their property this week, they found that the heartless thieves had struck again, this time breaking into the greenhouse.

Deana left a message for the thieves during her last visit.  She feels like there is nothing she can do to stop her

Deana left a message for the thieves during her last visit. She feels like there is nothing she can do to stop her

From the site of the parcel, they took the metal fences at the front of the property, wooden plant frames dug into the ground, polytunnels, nets, and corrugated cardboard, among other things.

In the shed, the thieves used, among other things, all the half-sized garden tools, pots, a rotavator, a stove, hoses and all the large Deana garden tools.

The calloused thieves had even taken a bottom container from the greenhouse and took the time to empty the contents onto the floor before even setting off with the container itself.

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Deana said, “They just wiped us out this time, there’s not much left of what we had and it’s absolutely devastating.

“I just don’t understand what someone would want with a lot of gardening tools for children and the little bits and pieces we had here.

“I just don’t really know what to do now, there is no real security here other than the entrance gates and there is no one patrolling.

“It just makes me very sad to believe that this was taken from them.”

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Tilly, 7, told Grimsby Live: “My favorite plant is broccoli. We have planted a lot of plants. I love coming here.”

Deana recently rented a second lot next to her own to improve access for Tilly and Letty, who both use wheelchairs.

Now she doesn’t know if she can start again because she knows the thieves could return.

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