Popular family farm and butcher targeted in overnight crime spree

Two family-owned businesses, a popular attraction and a Lincolnshire town's butcher, have fallen victim to an early hours 'crime spree'. East Lindsey-based Tattershall Farm Park and R. H. Papworth Butchers, in the neighbouring village of Coningsby, were both targeted by thieves who struck in early morning raids.

Various pieces of equipment, reportedly including a chainsaw and GBP500 ground auger, were taken from the farm, while the butcher's refrigerated delivery van was stolen from the yard to the rear of the shop. At a time of soaring costs of living and a weaker pound sterling, the "disappointing" thefts have left the business managers frustrated and concerned. "A lot of equipment comes from Europe, and with the falling pound, it's going to have a big impact," Marie Morrell, who owns the farm with her husband James, said. "We're in hospitality and that's a luxury.

Read more: Heartbreak after quad bike and GBP30k equipment stolen from Tattershall Farm Park "If people have got the choice between putting food on the table and coming to the farm park, they're going to choose to put food on the table. There is no question that it will affect us.

"But then maybe it's the economy that's forcing people to go out and steal from hardworking people." This is the second time in two months that Tattershall Farm Park has been broken into. Lincolnshire Police confirmed that two strimmers, a Makita toolbox, a pole borer and a trimmer helmet were lifted from the premises. Officers received a call at 7am on Tuesday.

Mrs Morrell estimated it would set the family back about GBP2,500. Additionally, the shed's cement board wall was knocked down by the trio so they could gain entry, which she estimated would cost them "tens of thousands" to repair and strengthen. "We were expecting it," Mrs Morrell added. "Because they would have been waiting for us to replace what they'd stolen so they could back and take it again.

"The first time I was cross because they had taken things that we worked really hard for and it was like someone had tied our hands behind our backs. But we're trying not to let them get us down. "We're cracking on with our autumn plans, working as a team on some amazing haybales we'll be displaying and we've got some music on - that's keeping us chipper." The "devastating" first break-in happened overnight on August 8, and apparently different thieves made off into the countryside with GBP30,000 of hard-earned tools and equipment.

"Compared to last time, we got off pretty lightly in the grand scheme of things," she added. "But hopefully, they'll get what's coming to them soon enough. "They'll break into a farm and that farm will have great big dogs." Going forward, the Morrells will be beefing up their security at the farm to keep out trespassers, after their initial progress was delayed. A few nights earlier, Papworth Butcher on Silver Street in Coningsby was also targeted, though it is not clear if it was by the same group of opportunistic burglars.

Manager Trevor Pattinson, 52, said he felt much the same as Mrs Morrell. He arrived at work in the morning to find the work van missing. After originally suspecting someone was playing a practical joke on him, he realised it had been pinched.

"It beggars belief really," he said. "People, given the opportunity, will steal just to put food on the table. "It's a fairly small village so you wouldn't expect the level of crime that has happened recently. There seems to be quite a spree happening at the moment.

He added: "It's not just a van, it's part of the business. And now you worry that it's only a matter of time until they get into the premises. "It's disappointing.

You rely on human nature to do the right thing, but obviously, there are individuals out there that don't." The crew are making do using cooled boxes and trying to make deliveries quickly while they wait for a courtesy replacement from the insurance company. Mrs Morrell has since released CCTV footage of the "three different scumbags to last time" on Facebook and has urged people with information to get in touch.

Lincolnshire Police is currently making inquiries into both incidents and has appealed for anyone with information to contact the force. Those reaching out with information about the Tattershall thefts will need to include a reference to incident 45 of September 27. A spokesperson for the force said: "We received a call just after 7am on Tuesday 27 September reporting a burglary at Tattershall Farm Park, Marsh Lane, Tattershall.

Incident 45 of 27 September 22 refers. Offenders have stolen two strimmers, a Makita tool box, a pole borer and a strimmer helmet from one of the buildings at the farm. "This is the second burglary the owners have suffered.

The first being on the 8 August.

On that occasion power tools and a quad bike were stolen; the quad bike was later recovered."

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