Spate of crimes hit garden centres this month

A garden centre has seen the public catch a shoplifter while two other centres have experienced crime this month.

The National Trust's Morden Hall Garden Centre has thanked a member of the public who caught a shoplifter by tripping him up as he was chased by police.

Officers were visiting the centre last month to discuss shoplifting incidents of hundreds of pounds worth of clothing.

They saw a shoplifter on CCTV and chased him, calling to the public to catch him. One member of the public tripped him up and he admitted the offence.

Manager Dan Cooke said the centre has since increased its security.

Meanwhile, Beckworth Emporium lost cash in a break in on June 12.

The robbery happened at about 4.45am, when approximately four men broke into the premises and threatened a member of staff. They stole cash from the safe and made their escape in a 2012 black three-door Astra GTC.

And criminals hacked the phone line of an Essex garden centre in an elaborate attempt to cash a fake pay cheque. 

The landline at Lancaster’s Home & Garden in Walthamstow, mysteriously stopped ringing for hours on the morning of June 4.

Their phone line had been hacked, with both outgoing and incoming calls routed to a member of a gang posing as a both a BT engineer and the centre's owner, when the cashier tried to verify a fake £403 cheque.  

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