Night time garden raiders are targeted in 'revenge attack'

They stole a bird table, plant pots and wooden wheelbarrows to sell under cover of darkness - but got more than they bargained for after someone smashed the windows of their own homes.

David Holden
David Holden

Now thieves who took garden ornaments in Walsall have been ordered to do unpaid work to make up for their early morning theft spree.

Lee Randall and David Holden stole items ranging from a bench to bird table after driving a white van around Clayhanger.

They were seen by a member of the public acting suspiciously in Allerdale Road and despite their attempts to hide were caught by police on July 10 this year.

The pair admitted four counts of theft at Walsall Magistrates Court earlier this month, a case covered by the Express & Star, and was adjourned for the preparation of pre-sentence.

The court was told since the crimes had come to light they had seen windows at their homes put through. They were this week sentenced to 12-month community orders with 150 hours unpaid work.

Randall, aged 26, of Chaucer Road, Blakenall, and Holden, also 26, of Church Street, Bloxwich, were also both told to pay £60 victim surcharge and £85 costs each.

Mr Roger Bleazard, prosecuting, said: "It is a very straight forward matter, a rather odd theft of garden ornaments. There are two people working together, they have got a van and there is a little bit of a plan."

The pair took a stone bench and bird table worth £50 each, and two wooden wheelbarrow pots valued at £25. They also grabbed two tea pot planters costing £25 and another brown plant pots which are worth £50.

A previous court hearing was told the intention was for them to be sold on. Randall and Holden had been seen acting suspiciously and were called to Allerdale Road at around 2.25am.

The van was abandoned and police found them hiding in bushes and the haul of goods was recovered.

In interview, Randall said he had been collected by Holden and they they had decided to steal garden ornaments from that area.

Holden also accepted he had collected his co-accused in the van and they were planning to steal various items of the furniture.

It was said they both having domestic problems at the time. Mr John Walker, defending both men, said they had suffered themselves since their crimes became public.

He said: "Somewhere along the line they must have picked on someone who became very angry about this. Their actions and where they live has been reported and they have both had their windows put through.

"They both now appear to be in their relationships which were estranged at the time."