A Littlehampton pensioner said he was left on the verge of tears after thieves stole the vegetables he grew to feed himself.
Bill Mason went down to his allotment plots in Worthing Road, Littlehampton, on Tuesday, July 2, to find that half of his potato crop had been stolen, as well as spring onions, beetroot, cabbages, lettuce, rhubarb and celeriac.
The 76-year-old, of Gloucester Place, Littlehampton, said the financial value of £130 lost paled in comparison to the four or five hours of work he did each day that had now gone to waste.
He said: “I nearly cried when I saw it.
“They have taken my livelihood away for no reason at all. It is part of my pension; that is what hurts. I don’t do it for fun.”
He called his daughter and together they contacted Littlehampton Town Council, which is responsible for the allotments, and Sussex Police to report the crime.
The lost portion of the potato crop equated to half a year’s supply for Bill and his partner, who relied on the food from the crops to supplement their pensions and see them through winter.
As a consequence, he said they would have to ration their food this year.
The retired engineering firm owner said this was the first time vegetables had been stolen from him in the 18 years he had the allotment.
He said: “We get the odd vandal up there, but this was carefully planned; they took away what they pulled up.
“It made me feel sick to be honest.”
He called for greater security at the allotments, such as CCTV cameras. He said: “It is a joke; there is no security up there at all.”
In response to Bill, the town council said it would make the entrance more secure after buying land to the west of the site and apologised for the ‘distress and upset’ the theft had caused.
A police spokesman said: “Anyone with information should contact police online or ring 101 quoting 649 of 03/07.”