‘I’ll catch them brown-handed’

Janet Bowes of Shop 4 Shoes, Cleveleys. The shop has been the target of someone stealing plants from outside. They think it's someone taking them to use in their own gardens because they only take plants which can be re-planted.
Janet Bowes of Shop 4 Shoes, Cleveleys. The shop has been the target of someone stealing plants from outside. They think it's someone taking them to use in their own gardens because they only take plants which can be re-planted.
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A SHOE shop owner says she is considering using guerrilla tactics to combat a serial plant burglar.

The green-fingered thief has struck twice outside Shop for Shoes, on The Crescent West, Cleveleys, in the past month.

And Janet Bowes, who runs the shop, believes she may have to get dirty in order to catch the perpetrator brown-handed.

She said: “I could put itching powder or superglue in the plant boxes but there’s not a lot else I can do.

Pinch

“I’m trying to think of a way I can plant them so they can’t pinch them and I’ve thought about chaining the stems to the boxes too.”

Just one of the plants, which grow into palm trees, now remains on display.

Janet believes the work is that of an unscrupulous horticulturist rather than petty vandals, due to the fact the flowers outside the shop have been left untouched.

She said: “They obviously know they carry on growing and they know they can replant them.

“There are ones on display which are a lot easier to take out than these spiky ones.”

Janet and her staff had displayed the plants in a bid to beautify the street outside, which she says suffers from a lack of footfall due to being away from the main shopping area.

She said: “It’s a shame really because the front of the shop looked lovely.

“We’ve made an effort to make the front of the shop look nice and we get victimised and vandalised.”

Janet spoke of her frustration at the person responsible, adding: “Why do that to something that looks really nice? They have no right to be touching my plants when they make this area look a bit more colourful.”

A Lancashire Police spokeswoman confirmed it was investigating.

She said: “We are appealing for anyone who has seen anything to contact us.”

Call police on 101 if you can help.