Redbridge Garden Centre owner makes police complaint after guard dog is stolen

A garden centre owner who had his guard dog stolen has put in a complaint against the police, who, he says, have a policy of not visiting commercial premises that have been burgled.

Essex-based Redbridge Garden Centre manager Bruce Freeman said: "We're used to getting burgled but losing the dog is too much.

"In our borough we've found the police don't come into commercial premises — they just phone through a crime number so I've put in a complaint to them and put up a £1,000 reward for the dog."

He added: "No insurance company will touch a garden centre so we just have to take it on the chin. We're going to upgrade CCTV but garden centres are a nightmare because they have big sites and no one can hear alarms. I've got an alarm that rings on my mobile now because with CCTV people wear hoods."

German shepherd Troy was on duty at the Woodford Bridge centre when burglars forced the locks.

The two-year-old dog and £3,000 worth of spray washers and power tools were stolen.

Freeman said: "He was like a pet to us and my wife is devastated as she is so fond of that dog. We just want him back.

"We had a episode of Wife Swap filmed here recently, which is going to be broadcast in a couple of weeks. Troy was star of the show and we've got Channel 4 coming back for more filming."

If you have any information contact Freeman on 07910 424 641 or Ilford Police on 020 8345 2635.


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