A PAIR aged in their 90s have been targeted multiple times by thieves after their garden ornaments.

Bill Stoker, 99, and his companion Hilda Wigget, 98, have lovingly tended to their garden on Barmpton Lane, Darlington, for decades – so much so it has become famous amongst locals who have deemed it ‘The Magic Garden’ for it’s unusual decorations.

Filled with dozens of ornaments themed around fairytales and nursery rhymes, the garden was the idea of Mr Stoker’s late wife Betty and has been tended to since 1959.

Five years ago the garden was targeted by thieves who stole several ornaments under the cover of night, and destroyed the garden whilst trespassing.

Over the past month, the pair have once again been subjected to regularly thievery.

“Dad and Hilda have had their light up roses stolen, an outdoor clock and dozens of ornaments such as a black and white terrier dog and a large toadstool,” said June Turner, Mr Stoker’s daughter.

“Some of these ornaments are very sentimental to our family, including a ornament of a boy with a dolphin, which was stolen recently, and was painted by my sister Dorothy, who passed away in February.

“A metal piper has also been pinched, which was bought in memory of my late mother, who was Scottish. “These might be silly little ornaments to other people, but to us they are special and sentimental.”

The Northern Echo:

It isn’t just garden objects at risk of being stolen. Five years ago Ms Turner caught a group of boys fishing the koi carp out of her dad’s pond.

Recently, the family alerted the police when Ms Wigget spotted a man bringing ornaments into his car from her garden at around 2am.

“Hilda woke up to the porch light, and she caught the thief red-handed. She tapped on the window of his car, but he sped off,” said Ms Turner.

“It isn’t just petty thievery, these are two people in their late nineties and to have someone prowling around their garden at night makes them feel very unsafe and unnerved.

“We’re asking people to look out for any of the ornaments described, because they might help us find the person who is taking them.”

The crime has been reported to Darlington Police.