Garden centre boss targeted at home in violent robbery warns industry to be vigilant

Poplar Garden Centre managing director David Little has warned garden centre owners to be more vigilant after he was the victim of an aggravated burglary last week.

Garden centre boss targeted at home in violent robbery warns indusry to be vigilant (ID:992079)
Garden centre boss targeted at home in violent robbery warns indusry to be vigilant (ID:992079)

Little was tied up and robbed by three intruders when at home with his two children in Bedfordshire on Mother's Day.

He said: "Garden centres are perceived as soft targets as burglars migrate away from attacks on high street stores. They are moving to out-of-town targets like garden centres in rural locations."

Little does not live on site but suggested that he may have been targeted because he is a businessman. Police believe this may be one of a number of attacks on retailers.

Little said he may have been tracked down online: "The internet is a wonderful tool. Companies House has directors' addresses and with Google Earth and Google Street View they can even see what car you drive.

"Modern technology has compromised our security. But I don't know whether this was related to the business." He added that around 30 Garden Centre Association members had sent messages after his ordeal.

"What happened to me may make people review their security to protect themselves and their staff. We read in HW about burglaries at garden centres but maybe we don't do much about it.

"If this gets a warning out there and gets people to undertake security reviews that's a good thing. You can get lax in your habits with things like till lifts and not banking."

Poplars opened a new development on 12 March and Little said that coincided with good weather and bumper sales.


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