Police launch investigation into cancer patients targeted by thieves

Police have confirmed they are investigating the theft and vandalism of a family's plant stall in Hellesdon.

Police have confirmed they are investigating the theft and vandalism of a family's plant stall in Hellesdon. - Credit: Alan Kirkham / PA Wire

Officers are on the hunt for heartless yobs who stole plants from a charity stand outside the home of two cancer patients.

Julia Fisher and her daughter Emma Manning, who live in Hellesdon, are raising cash for the oncology department at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH).

The pair have endured a number of thefts and attacks on their plant stall in Meadow Way over the last month.

Since 2015 Julia and Emma have raised up to around £20,000 for the oncology department.

Since 2015 Julia and Emma have raised around £20,000 for the NNUH oncology department - Credit: Emma Manning

Julia, 75, said: "We've had lots of supportive people helping us and now the police have stepped in.

"Hopefully they'll catch whoever is doing this because the amount of plants stolen is getting to us.

"The officer who came round to see us was very nice and said they were looking into it.

"We're just not sure what's going to happen in the future."

Emma Manning, 52 and Julia Fisher, 75 who lives in Meadow Way, Hellesdon.

Emma Manning, left, and Julia Fisher live in Meadow Way, Hellesdon - Credit: Alan Kirkham

A police spokesman confirmed: "Police are investigating various incidents of theft and criminal damage which have occurred at an address in Meadow Way Hellesdon.

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"A variety of plants have been stolen from the driveway between Thursday 16 June 2022 and Tuesday 12 July 2022.

"A number of plants were also damaged during this time.

"There are currently extra patrols in the area as officers work to identify suspects and enquiries are currently ongoing.

"Officers are appealing for anyone who may have witnessed the incidents or anyone with any information to come forward.

"Anyone with information should contact the Hellesdon and Horsford beat manager, PC Matthew Hill, on 101 quoting crime reference 36/53025/22.

"Alternatively contact Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111."

Tina Leeds, from Southall Close, was the first person to come to the families' aid when the plants were first stolen.

Now the 52-year-old is hoping to help Julia and Emma, and said: "They've done a lot of good for years.

"I'd hate they become disheartened because of some stupid people.

The new plaque which has been put outside Julia and Emma's house after the theft.

The new plaque which has been put outside Julia and Emma's house after the theft - Credit: Emma Manning

"I grow plants and sell them myself so I offered Julia some after they were stolen.

"We're hoping to raise some awareness to see if the community or a company can spare anything to help keep their plants secure.

"What the family have had to deal with makes me really angry.

"I'd hate to see their hard work all go to waste."