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I was made redundant a while ago and made the most of the time starting the garden after years of neglect due to job and kids. I got a local man to clear the worst and dig over from there on i dug and built raised beds weeded added fertiliser and manure and planted, seeded a lawn built raised beds and generally spent a year working my backside off.

With no sign of a job i purchased a large bulk of slightly used plastic terracotta look pots from Ebay several hundred in fact as well as loads of little pots and seed trays it was one lot and a real bargain.My intention was to plant up some of 12 inch pots with herbs etc and sell at car boot sales to help pay for my sons college next year.

A week after the pots arrived i thought a pile of around fourty 12 inch pots had vanished My husband said i was imagining it. I got quite angry this weekend with my husband as it looks like around 150 to 200 pots have disapeared not just the ones i bought to sell with herbs but pots i got last year or my birthday some of these are 22 inch pots last year i had about fifteen 22 + inch pots with toms and cues in plus got some more from ebay now i only have 6 left .

I think the thief is returning taking a stack or two of pots at a time.

Its bad enough somebody stole my wheelbarrow last year along with rake two forks and a spade.

I think it may be the man I paid to dig over my garden, that stole the pots and tools but cant prove pots may be able to prove tools as have seen fork and wheelbarrow somewhere else he works.

I think if it is him he may well sell at a car boot sale as i know he goes to them.


It's rotten when that sort of thing happens. It happened to me when I had a young man in to cut my hedge and do some strimming. My leafblower/hoover and my new longhandled hedgecutter that my father gave me disappeared, along with some smaller bits and pieces. He got very concerned that I would call the police and insisted it was gipsies.

Sometimes you hear of things being nicked or damaged on allotments. I think that is very mean, allotment owners aren't usually rich people.

Victoria Sponge

Oh Nin,

I absolutely hate thieves. I really don't understand why people want to take someone else's possessions. It's utterly demoralising.

If it was me I'd set up a permanent stag system until I caught the person in the act- but I do get a bee in my bonnet about these things.

I'd be tempted to call the man around for a fake quote on some work and just tell him in passing what has happened/ how hurtful/ college fund/ made redundant and how you're trying to create a nice space for the neighbourhood not just yourself. I wouldn't let him know I suspected him but it might make him feel BAD!


Just called the police and reported

I have known this man from years not a friend but a local character he knows my kids and that i lost my job. It may not be him but i will tell the police i suspect him. he is not internet or computer savvy i order him seed catalogs on the internet. I am just hoping anybody local to me will keep there eyes peeled for somebody selling plastic terracotta look pots if they see this post.


Laborious I know, but can you paint the bases of the pots, then you can recognise them again if they turn up on a car boot stall somewhere.  Or put your initials in felt tip on the bases.



Some people just think that if someone has a lot of something they won't miss a few and they help themselves   They regard it as 'perks' .  Totally wrong and totally dishonest of course, but they were brought up like it and you'll never change them 'cos they're not bright enough to take on new concepts 

Ask your suspect to keep his eyes open for the thief and tell him you, your neighbours and the police are doing the same.

And yes, mark them!!! 


Thanks dove going out with permenant marker now to mark 150+ pots

Not worried about replacing the 12" pots was going to sell them but cant afford to replace the biggies so where do i put my Tomatoes and cucumbers?


Ask your chap if he knows of anywhere you can get hold of some going cheap, explaining that you've been the victim of a despicable thief - you never know, he might come across some exactly like the ones you had that someone doesn't want any more 


Ask him if he knows where you can get some? 

flowering rose

I think if you go to your local market you might find your missing items. Many years ago my mother found that all her new plants and gardening tools kept going missing and so did all neighbours have the same problem.when the police caught the  thief he was the post man who took his goods to the local market to sell and that included lawn mowers!


And invest in a CCtv camera nin. Dove's right - they're despicable.

I'm about to do that to catch the ****** who keeps letting their dog out to come in  my garden time after time after time.... 

I know who it is,  I will catch them and will thoroughly enjoy seeing them get their thousand pound fine.

It is to be assumed you do not have a place the pots can be stowed with secure locks, you can get Boxes bins and containers cheaply in local adverts or e-bay. These would hold a lot of pots stacked and then chains and locks added. As with all things you are the one who bears the cost to protect your property and thieves will not go to a lot of trouble, if they find stuff locked away then they will wander off to a place where it is easy pickings.

Years ago around me there were a number of garage raids, mine was not touched because I had added a secure side lock, I did show a couple of people how easy it is to slip a garage normal centre lock, they then fitted extra locks and it all stopped.

The time to watch for this sort of thing is not at night but just after dawn, it is surprising how many people are wandering around who will pick up anything that will turn a pound says he who hammers a stake into the ground then wires his large pots to the stake after losing a couple from the front of the house and this is a good area.



Did you tell your gardener friend your plans to grow and sell? He may have decided to try it for himself.

When these people decide that they want something, they stop at nothing. We used to have a beautiful little bench made of metal in our front garden. People used to comment on how pretty it was. I thought that it might be a good idea to padlock it to the house wall. The same evening while we were watching tv, I heard a noise outside, went out and found a man standing near the bench. He said he was looking for his dog. We took the bench in that night, invested in two large padlocks and some extra thick chain and tied it to the house. About a week later, I heard another noise one night, went out and there were the chains, cut through with bolt cutters, and a lorry disappearing over the hill.

The people that do this are just selfish b******s who only think of themselves.


Nin, I was so sorry to hear about the thefts. You could try some local nurseries to replace the plastic pots for nothing; they only go for re-cycling otherwise. One nursery has been giving me pots for the flooded gardens appeal. It is not worth their while to sterilise them for re-use.

Nin..........I do hope you manage to keep your remaining pots and other gardening stuff safe from someone's thieving mitts

Sadly as the other posters some people's eyes, everything which isn't nailed down is considered fair game. 



pansyface...don't know what to say. Makes me so angry. You can buy fake cctv cameras for a tenner - perhaps that's worth trying as it may just be enough to deter the more determined b******s. 


Fairygirl, as ever with me I waited for the horse to bolt before I shut the stable door. We now have a grotty bench and some very ungrotty, very expensive cctv. But it just makes me depressed to see it there like something from Stalag Luft III. And of course, I still wonder where the bench is now. Probably melted down and propping up a skyscraper in China.

The cctv does have its funny side- we no longer wonder what has eaten the plants. All our beautiful laburnum flowers disappeared yesterday before they had had a chance to open. Bullfinches. They didn't even eat them!


...or a sign saying 'We love Dobermans' don't actually have to have one - you are simply stating your preferences

Years ago I had to do a security sign on a large property I was helping to renovate. So all round the estate we put up really professional looking signs saying the property was protected by 'STD' security. STD stood for 'Spot the dog' who was the tiniest Jack Russell I have ever seen. Good luck with confounding this repellant person, whoever it is.

AJ............a much more amusing  translation for the dreaded STD

Tho thinking about it, Nin might be better off with the original translation............that should put some of the more fastidious/less promiscuous thieves off ..........maybe. 

Not in any way trying to put the blame onto yourself, but where were they stored that somebody could make repeat trips to steal them?  Terra cotta pots aren't light so it must have taken some time, effort and a form of transport to take them away.