Honesty stall raiders steal from farmers

Thieves reached an all time low after pilfering an honesty stall serving the flood-hit residents of St Michaels.

Thursday, 17th March 2016, 6:30 am
Updated Thursday, 17th March 2016, 7:41 am
Photo Neil Cross We are not aMOOsed, John Swale with Matilda at the homnest boxed Milk Bar at St Michaels-on-Wyre

Farmers Anne and John Swale set up the stall selling every day essentials such as cheese, milk, eggs and honey but were shocked one night when a car pulled up and stole the lot.

With the village not having many amenities, the unmanned stall with an honesty box outside St Michaels Hall Farm was one of few places for residents to get goods without having to travel too far

And 44-year-old Anne says she is shocked someone could stoop so low and hopes the culprits can be found.

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“I don’t know why anyone would do this, because there’s nothing of any real value to steal,” Anne said.

“Most of the things they’ve stolen will go off before a family could use them.

“To add insult to injury they used our baskets to carry the goods away.

“My husband and I were just sat at home and heard a car pull up before quickly screeching away.

“When we went outside we found that they’d taken everything.

“If they really needed any of it then we would have happily handed it over but they have a car and so clearly aren’t short of money.

“To actually think to bring your car just to take food given away at a good will stall is really bad.

“I think once the school comes back in May, it will be used even more so we want to keep it going so people don’t have to travel for their essentials.”

Anne and her husband John, 56, were heavily flooded during Storm Desmond in December and thought the stall was a good way of selling their products as well as helping the flood-hit community.

“We’ve put the stall back up and restocked it but we’ve had to pay to install CCTV so hopefully it won’t happen again,” she said.

“It had been going really well and was well-used.

“The police are looking into it but I don’t think they’ve found anything yet.”

Lancashire Police said between seven and 11pm on February 19 four wicker baskets, eggs, cheese, milk and honey were stolen as well as the honesty box full with money from the Hall Lane stall.

Police are still investigating and ask anyone with any information to call 101 quoting reference 742 of February 22.