'Bizarre' garden hedge thefts in Suffolk village

Des Wells's house with the missing hedge on Church Road, Tostock
Image caption The yew trees were stolen from Des Wells' garden on Friday morning

Two gardens in one village have been targeted in "bizarre" hedge thefts within the space of 12 hours.

All but two of the recently planted laurel bushes were taken from outside Kitty Harding's home in Tostock, Suffolk, as first reported in the East Anglian Daily Times.

Shortly after, Des Wells discovered 20 yew trees he had planted in his garden had been pulled out.

Mr Wells said it was "an odd thing to steal".

Image caption Des Wells had planted the trees about three months ago

In both cases, the plants had been put in about three months ago and were in roadside front gardens.

Mr Wells said he was alerted to the theft of the yew trees he planted in October on Friday.

It is thought the plants, which were about 3ft (0.9m) high and up to 20ft (6m) wide, were taken between 06:30 and 07:30 GMT.

Mr Wells, 51, who has lived in his cottage for 22 years, said: "It's an odd thing to steal.

"When I rang the police, I said 'you are not going to believe this'."

Image caption Des Wells had planted some more trees on other side of his gate, like the ones which were stolen
Image caption The trees would look like this hedge once they were established

He said the thieves must have known the plants "would come straight out of the ground" as they had not taken root.

"All that hard work, expense, and gone," said Mr Wells, who said the yew trees cost between £300 and £400 in total.

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Mrs Harding said the theft outside her cottage happened overnight on Thursday.

She said she was not surprised.

Image caption Mrs Harding said she was not surprised by the theft of her laurel plants

Mrs Harding, who has lived on Flatts Lane for 20 years, said: "There's a lot of rural theft about."

She said she would replace the stolen laurel plants with "inferior" ones.

Suffolk Police has appealed for witnesses.

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