Quake survivor hit by thieves

Helen and Brian Coker have lost 40 plants valued at around $200 in the latest of several thefts...
Helen and Brian Coker have lost 40 plants valued at around $200 in the latest of several thefts at their roadside stall this year. PHOTO: GEOFF SLOAN
Cheeky thieves are stealing plants from a West Melton couple’s roadside stall.

More than $200 of plants home-grown by Brian and Helen Coker have been stolen from their Stoneycrop stall on Halkett Rd.

“We are very disappointed. I like to think it’s a part of our Kiwi culture that we have these roadside stalls and the majority of people are honest but some just ruin it for everyone,” Mr Coker said.

It’s the fourth time the stall has been targetted this year, the Coker’s have previously had their honesty box taken on several occasions.

Mr Coker lost both his legs in the Christchurch earthquake on Feburary 22, 2011. He was pinned under concrete in the collapsed Pyne Gould Corporation building.

Later Mr and Mrs Coker began a project to create a dream garden at their home.

Mrs Coker took on the majority of the work and they won Garden of the Year in 2015.

The plants from the stall come directly from that garden and mean a lot to them, Mr Coker said.

“When you’ve spent so much time growing and nurturing them and to have somebody just take them, it really isn’t a great feeling,” he said.

After all of the thefts, the couple have begun questioning if it’s worth carrying on.

“We still want to keep going but to lose this amount of plants in one go is very disheartening and it does make you think.

“Its disappointing people aren’t honest,” Mr Coker said.

The couple said they will look into installing security cameras to ensure it doesn’t happen again

The thieves took two trays totalling around 40 plants andother specific plants of more value.

“They were quite selective with what they took so I suspect it was people taking things to plant in their garden.”

A dark blue early Subaru Legacy was seen at the stall a couple of times during the afternoon and maybe connected, he said.

•If you see the plants or have any information report to the police quoting the report number OR-60716565




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