Nursery owner Rebecca Sprosen believes thieves who targeted her rural nursery were waiting for the perfect timing to pounce.
While Ms Sprosen was at Woodend Farmer’s Market on Saturday and neighbours were out, thieves stole $5000 of herb seedlings from her Allendale Nursery.
The 1400 plants were taken in trays that would have required a large van or a ute and trailer to move. About 900 of the seedlings were in three inch pots, and about 500 in square four inch pots.
The brazen theft occurred in broad daylight, some time between 10.30am and 2pm on Saturday.
“Someone has known how I work and that I’m at market every weekend and it’s unattended,” she said.
“And they have had a specific aim. Someone knew what to go for as they’ve headed straight for certain herbs. They took herbs because veggie seedlings have to be turned over quickly.”
The thieves also damaged tables at the nursery, dragging one with a chain and breaking it.
“I’m not the flashest of places, I’m a home hubby nursery and these guys probably earn way more than I do. They’ve taken a fairly substantial amount for a nursery like mine, and it’s my sole income.”
What haunts her is she had probably dealt with the thief as a customer.
“They knew what they were after and had probably come and sussed it out. I could have even spoken to them for all I know.”
Anyone with information can call Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.