Hooded thieves swiped 300 trees in a three-night spree
Pines and Needles in Southfields
Thieves have been captured on CCTV stealing £3,000 worth of Christmas trees from a pop-up shop in Southfields.
Images show the hooded gang chucking dozens of trees in the back of a van after breaking through a fence at the site in Wimbledon Park Road.
The Pines and Needles shop had 300 trees stolen in just three days after the gang struck three nights in a row – with the first raid the night before Covid-19 restrictions were lifted to allow their sales.
The family-run business sets up stalls every Christmas across London and famously sold a tree to Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, in the early days of their relationship.
The trees were in a yard surrounded by fencing at the end of Wimbledon Park Road. In the footage, filmed by a nearby resident, the three men are clearly seen stealing dozens of trees.
The brazen gang are thought to have made several journeys to and from the yard after backing their van into the well-lit compound.
The company, founded by brothers Josh and Sam Lyle in 1995 when they were aged just 15 and 13, has a history of hiring workers usually based in third world countries and conflict zones.
Owner Josh Lyle is reported to have said: "We have been hammered already this year because of Covid and now, just as we were given the green light to sell to the public, a bunch of thieves decide to help themselves to more than £3,000-worth of stock. It's sickening.
"Our job is to spread Christmas cheer to everyone in the UK, sending our trees far and wide, but this is a real kick in the teeth and we're asking for people who may have information to come forward and notify the police.
"This was a pretty brazen act in a well-lit yard right at the Wimbledon Park Road entrance, so we're hoping they get their comeuppance."
A Met Police spokesman said, "Police were contacted at approximately 7.40pm, on Friday, 27 November following the theft of a number of Christmas trees from a pop-up shop in Wimbledon Park, Southfields. No arrests and enquiries into the circumstances remain ongoing."
Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 or tweet @MetCC and quote CAD6599/27Nov. Alternatively ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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