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Poppy pods stolen for suspected drugs

PUBLISHED: 17:30 31 July 2008 | UPDATED: 15:16 07 September 2010

A COUPLE from Dartmouth Park are furious after a thief pilfered prized possessions in the dead of night. But the burglar was not after DVDs or laptops, instead making off with their crop of poppies from the front garden. Musician Dov Waterman and his wife

A COUPLE from Dartmouth Park are furious after a thief pilfered prized possessions in the dead of night.

But the burglar was not after DVDs or laptops, instead making off with their crop of poppies from the front garden.

Musician Dov Waterman and his wife Keren, of Chetwynd Road, realised their garden had been raided when they woke up last Wednesday morning.

Around 50 of the seed pods had been snapped off and taken - almost all of their flower crop.

"I don't care who or why they took them - it is more the fact they walked onto our private property," said Mr Waterman. "This is not a criminal offence, this is a moral offence.

"Last year I spotted someone coming in and doing the same and I went out and said to him, 'Why don't you just ask if you want them?' He was very apologetic. I don't know if it is the same person or not."

Wanting to make this point clear to the midnight raider, the couple put up a notice on their garden gate with the words 'You're a petty thief' written in large print.

The note said: "You could have knocked on our door and asked. We would have said yes of course (to a few). But instead you stole them all."

Mr Waterman continued: "It was just us venting our anger. It was interesting to watch people's reactions when they saw the notice."

One neighbour was sympathetic to their complaint and dropped a note along with a bag of poppy seeds through their letter box.

The poppy flower is well known because of its association with the First World War. Every year in November wreaths are laid at memorials and soldiers' graves to mark Remembrance Day.

But the flower has also has a more sinister side, as in large numbers and in the right conditions it can be used to extract the drug opium, through which heroin can be made.

"I don't want to know about that but I wouldn't be too surprised," said Mr Waterman on the possibility his flowers were taken by a desperate addict.

"You never know, but whoever does it to make a drug they should know better. You would need a whole sea of them to make drugs.

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