“THOUGHTLESS and selfish” burglars have stolen thousands of pounds worth of gardening equipment from a community allotment in York.

The Glen Allotments in Sixth Avenue were opened by residents three years ago, with raised beds as a way to help local residents with mobility problems and children with special needs get into gardening.

Thieves removed the hinges from the doors of two sheds at the allotment, between 1.30pm on Sunday and 2pm on Monday.

They made off with a Huzvana L120 tractor, with a registration plate which reads MAC, a back-tipping trailer, emblazoned with Glen Garden Club stickers, a yellow ride-on power mower, a red Honda rotavator, a Mountfield lawnmower, a Bosch cordless drill and other power tools worth a total of more than £2,000.

Last Hallowe’en, Glen Gardening Club welcomed 186 children from the local area to a special event set up by the club at the allotment, and volunteers regularly give up their time to work on the land with residents and children.

Malcolm Mitchell, chairman of the club, said: “The funds for these items were raised last year by people giving donations and local businesses, as we decided to make life easier for the volunteers, many of whom are in their 60s and 70s.

“It seems so funny that they’ve just targeted two sheds. It looks like a military operation. After all we’ve done for the community, we’ve always put them first.”

A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police, urged anyone who had been offered the items for sale to get in touch.

He said: “This is a thoughtless and selfish crime which is both upsetting and inconvenient for the victims.

“It is a shame that children who use the allotments have been deprived of the equipment they need to look after their plot. Anyone who can help the police with the investigation, is urged to phone the police or Crimestoppers with information.”

Mr Mitchell said: “We’re not going to buy more, as in all probability they’ll just get stolen again. This will mean more strenuous work for us all.

“Anyone could drop them back or pass on information. We’re not bothered who took them, if they get brought back. The damage can be repaired, but these items are now lost.”

Anyone with information can contact North Yorkshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.