Allotment holders in Alfreton have been left devastated after criminals raided their site.
Thousands of pounds’ worth of machinery and tools were stolen by thieves when they broke into sheds at Crabtree Allotments on Rodgers Lane.
Fabio Mua, chairman of Crabtree Allotment Association, said: “Many plot holders have been left devastated by this, especially those who rely on the site for social interaction, fresh air and exercise.
“Some are thinking of giving up their plot.
“The other inconvenience is having to replace stolen items at what is an expensive time of year.
“It’s all very upsetting and I think the people who did this are cowards.”
Fabio added: “If you took the equipment, please, please bring it back to us.
“Just leave it at the gates to the allotments.”
Fabio, 31, of Bishop Street, Alfreton, said allotments in Somercotes and Grassmoor were previously broken into and believes an organised criminal gang is behind the raids.
“We want other allotment holders to be vigilant and take security steps to ensure this doesn’t happen to them as well,” he added.
PCSO Hannah Disney, of Derbyshire police, said: “We’re advising residents and gardeners to make sure their sheds are secured after every time they use them, to avoid keeping valuable items and equipment inside and to invest in a good quality lock.
“Other measures you can take include installing an alarm and security marking your property as these steps can really help to deter thieves – and potentially help police to trace and return items back to you if they are recovered.”
Derbyshire police are investigating the break-ins at Crabtree Allotments, which happened sometime between 4pm on Monday, December 19, and 9.20am the following day.
Witnesses or anyone with information should call police on 101, quoting crime number 16000424395.
Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
• Fabio said Crabtree Allotments is in need of funding to help with improvements to the site, including providing better wheelchair access. Any individual or company who would like to help should contact the allotments.