The owner of Fishers Farm Park has said an emotional thank you to the community after vehicles worth £40,000 were stolen on Thursday (January 14).
Tim Rollings praised the ‘absolutely wonderful’ support farm staff have received from the public after the overnight break-in.
A Facebook post announcing the burglary has received more than 400 comments and been shared more than 2,000 times, while one visiting couple donated a generator and chainsaw when they learned of the theft.
Tim said: “The response has been absolutely wonderful. There are over 400 comments and there wasn’t one that said ‘Fishers Farm, they can afford it’.
“There was nothing derogatory at all, just really kind and thoughtful comments. Out of every tragedy, there is always something good out of it.
“Thank you to all our supporters - I am amazed that so many people care.”
Thieves cut through padlocks and sawed open one of the farm’s barns to access vehicles and machinery.
Among the items stolen from the park, near Wisborough Green, was a John Deere Gator utility vehicle, which had only been delivered the previous day.
Tim explained the thieves likely used the John Deere Gator, a load-carrying vehicle, to transport other valuable equipment off the site.
He said: “At dawn, I was walking in the car park and one of the guys I work with, Gerald, came running up to give me the bad news.
“It was extraordinary really. They had literally just sawn a whole section from ground level to about four metres up the side of the barn.
“They just removed it and laid it down in the car park. So there is a big gaping hole where the side of the barn should have been.
“The guy that discovered it, my right hand man, was in tears. We went in and everything was gone.
“It was a horrific sight.”
While some of the stolen items were not insured, many can be replaced, he added.
Tim explained that a thoughtful neighbour phoned at 4am on Friday to report horses and donkeys in their garden.
He herded some ponies back inside the farm - and only realised in the morning they had escaped because the intruders left the field gate open.
He said: “The thieves didn’t even have the courtesy to shut the field gate when they left which alone speaks volumes about the sort of people who commit these crimes causing disruption and misery.”
He added: “I don’t really understand theft because it is so personal and so wrong. I just don’t think they have any compassion or thought for what they are doing.”
No animals were harmed during the break-in.
Police officers attended the scene and conducted a house to house enquiry.
Anyone with information can call Sussex Police on 101 quoting reference 0211 of 15/1.
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