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Totton volunteer group Friends of Bartley Park hit by chainsaw thieves

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VOLUNTEERS for a community effort to improve a local park have blasted thieves who stole five chainsaws from the project.

David and Teresa Young were saddened to discover the break-in on 27th April at their Water Lane property, despite the shed being alarmed and CCTV in operation.

The couple had set up the Friends of Bartley Park, a group whose members spend their time improving the appearance and biodiversity of the land between West Totton and Ashurst Bridge.

CCTV shows a man wearing a Hollister top at the time of the theft
CCTV shows a man wearing a Hollister top at the time of the theft

David told the A&T the theft had been "a real inconvenience" and they had been forced to rearrange plans.

He added: "I was really upset as some of the saws I have had for a very long time.

"They were quite savvy as their had their hoods up and facemasks and surgical gloves on. They were so brazen and came equipped with crowbars and bolt-cutters.

"They have no compassion. Why can't they respect other people's property? My shed is my sanctuary and I could do no more – it was alarmed and has CCTV.

It is thought three males were involved in the theft, with one wearing a distinctive top with 'Hollister' across the chest. They left the scene in a black or dark-coloured hatchback car.

Bartley Park has been tidied thanks to volunteers (47293689)
Bartley Park has been tidied thanks to volunteers (47293689)

David had been using his own chainsaws to remove rotten trees around the side of the river, with the timber used to create hedgehog and wildlife houses.

Working parties regularly involve tidying and litter picking the land, which is owned by Totton and Eling Town Council, and putting up bird and bat boxes.

A police spokesperson told the A&T: "I can confirm that we received a report of a residential burglary at a property on Water Lane on 14th April whereby a number of power tools were stolen from a shed.

"All reasonable lines of enquiry have been followed and the investigation has been closed – until such time new information comes to light and will then be re-opened."

Anyone with information can call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Anyone wishing to join one of the working parties or to donate equipment can contact the group by visiting Friends of Bartley Park on Facebook.

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