Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

'Bloom-raider' caught on CCTV pulling plants from garden in the middle of the night

The man always pulls out the same bushes, even after they're replanted

Police have released baffling footage of a so-called “bloom-raid”, in the hope they will catch a man who a couple claims has repeatedly yanked shrubs from their garden in the dead of night.

The video was shot on CCTV cameras set up by the couple to identify who has been uprooting their plants over the past year.

Filmed at 2am on Saturday, the 30-second clip video shows a white, middle-aged man leaning over the couple’s garden railings in Essex to grab hold of a tall shrub. He momentarily struggles to yank the plant out from the soil, before throwing it onto the pebbled garden.

He then moves on to the second plant – making a few attempts to find a good grasp - and slowly draws it from the ground and flings it down. In the next shot, the man approaches another bush but abruptly abandons his project, stares up at the house, and strides down the road.

Mr and Mrs Jenkins moved into the house in March, and say they have “no idea” why the man is targeting them. 

Police issued the footage on Friday as they appealed for anyone who recognises the man to contact them.

54-year-old Mrs Jenkins, a receptionist from Hornchurch, told the Evening Standard: “It’s evergreen bushes, nothing big, but he seems to know which ones to go for. Each time it happens I go out and plant them again, and each time he pulls up the same ones.

“It was a bit scary at the beginning, because I was thinking ‘why us?’. We’re very relieved it isn’t someone we know, because we’d have had to confront them about it.

“It’s pathetic for a grown man to be doing that,” she added.

Metropolitan Police Sergeant Darren Hepple said: “There have been several reports of criminal damage of a similar nature in the area and we believe that one person may be responsible.

“We are asking for the public’s assistance to help us identify this person and anyone with information on the damage - or who recognises the male in the CCTV - should contact us directly.”

Anyone with information can call police on 020 8721 2593 or 101 quoting ref 5411013/14. Anonymously at Crimestoppers on 0800 111 555.