BRAZEN thieves are repeatedly targeting a family park and stealing more than 100 shrub plants.

Southend Council’s parks team is urging residents to be vigilant after more than 116 shrub plants have disappeared from Priory Park in the last two weeks.

On Monday May 13, the council’s parks team were out doing the rounds when a park warden noticed some of the box shrubs and lavender shrubs had been dug-up and removed.

Each night following this incident, more and more plants were being removed, leading to the council passing the details over to Essex Police.

Scott Dolling, director for culture, tourism and property, said: “Our parks are very well looked after, with five of the borough’s parks and open spaces being awarded the coveted Green Flag awards – Priory Park being one of those.

“We are in shock that someone would be prepared to dig up the shrubs, and then take them on to what I presume would be to their own garden.

“We urge anyone with information to contact Essex Police quoting the crime reference number.”

The council is seeking residents support in finding the thieves by reporting any information to Essex Police, quoting crime reference number 42/74021/19.

The total cost of plants stolen has reached £200.

In total, 70 box shrubs and 36 lavender shrubs have been stolen from Priory Park, south of the museum shrub bed.