Heartless thieves steal Huthwaite church's tractor mower
Callous thieves have stolen a Huthwaite church’s tractor mower worth thousands of pounds during a brazen night-time break-in.
They took the red Westwood machine from a shed next to the All Saints’ Church vicarage sometime overnight on Wednesday, June 9.
It has been valued at more than £2,000 and is regularly used to cut the grass on land in the centre of Huthwaite, off Common Road, which is used as a play area as well as a community resource for Scouts and users of the adjacent All Saints’ Centre.
Now the Rev Charlie Maiden has issued an appeal for anyone who knows anything about the theft to contact police.
“I just can’t believe people would target a church,” he said. “It’s a great loss to us, a pain, an inconvenience and we now cannot mow the massive church lawn, which is used constantly by the community and as play area. It will turn back into a hay meadow without cutting.
"The ride-on tractor mower was locked in a lean-to shed attached to a garage, beside the vicarage. We don’t know exactly when it was taken, but I went out at about 10pm to take out the bins and the next morning by around 9am it was gone.
“We don’t know if it was taken to sell on, or if it was someone who just wanted it for themselves – if that is the case, they must have land.
"It cost almost £2,500 when it was bought new many years ago, but we dread to think what it would cost to replace it now. The whole pandemic has really financially hit us as a church.
"We have contacted the police, and we are now asking anyone who may have seen anything, or maybe has CCTV film of a vehicle, maybe a van or lorry, going through the village and local area, to please contact local police.”
Since the theft, a Facebook appeal has led to several offers of help and someone has stepped forward willing to help keep the grass tidy.
Rev Maiden said: “We just heard that someone locally has kindly offered to cut the grass lawns for us until our mower is replaced. We don’t know who it is yet but we are very grateful for offers of help.”