Money stolen after break-in at Portland community farm

Dorset Echo: Jon and Su Illsley standing behind the broken window Jon and Su Illsley standing behind the broken window

OVER £600 was stolen during a break-in at a community farm last night.

Money was taken from a cash register and a donation pot at Fancy’s Farm in Portland.

Farm owner Su Illsley said a brand new till was also taken.

She said: “They have stolen from the community. They have stolen from everybody that uses the farm.”

The incident took place between 9pm last night and 8am this morning.

The exterior fence was cut open and used as an entrance. An office window was smashed to retrieve the money.

Mrs Illsley said: “They have taken the bars off the window. They have done a proper job.”

The field that the thieves broke into is usually occupied by the farm’s miniature horse, Dinky Devil.

He was in his stables at the time. None of the farm’s animals were hurt or injured during the break-in.

Mrs Illsley said: “If anybody had hurt or have touched the animals, I would have hunted them down.”

She added: “All the money they have stolen from is to feed the animals and our bills are running at £1,500 to £2,000 for animal feed. So that’s a big dent in that.”

The break-in comes less than a day after the farm received a £200 cheque from the ASDA Foundation, winning the customer green token vote at its Weymouth store.

Mrs Illsley confirmed the cheque had been taken by thieves, torn up and found with the remains of the till in the farm’s ghost tunnels. The cheque has now been cancelled.

She said: “They will get caught. Somebody will slip up at some point because the farm is used by the whole community, not just Portland.”

Councillor Sandy West, who represents the Underhill ward for Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, said she was saddened by the news.

She said: “I’m really upset for them because they do such a fantastic job up there.

“They do such great work for the community. It is a real asset on Portland and I feel so sad. It is just heartbreaking.”

A spokesperson for Dorset Police said: “We did have a report of a break-in at that location.

“It looks like it was a break-in to an office area during the night.”

One of the farm's supporters has put up a £250 reward for anyone who is able to provide information leading to the arrest and conviction of the offender(s).

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police on 101, quoting incident number 29:99.

Comments (12)

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3:24pm Sat 29 Mar 14

Top Gear says...

You should never keep money in an unoccupied premises overnight. Always leave the empty till open to deter thieves.
Maybe its someone that knows money is left in the till overnight!!
You should never keep money in an unoccupied premises overnight. Always leave the empty till open to deter thieves. Maybe its someone that knows money is left in the till overnight!! Top Gear
  • Score: 6

9:37pm Sat 29 Mar 14

merlinonportland says...

such sad people around ! hope they catch them quick.
such sad people around ! hope they catch them quick. merlinonportland
  • Score: 3

8:20am Sun 30 Mar 14

islandman says...

Isolated premises, known donations, but, only those who have visited would have known where money was. Having visited Fancy's Farm a couple of times with grandchildren, those who have been visiting at the same time, hardly seem to be likely suspects. Apart from that, it is an inconvenient place to access.
Isolated premises, known donations, but, only those who have visited would have known where money was. Having visited Fancy's Farm a couple of times with grandchildren, those who have been visiting at the same time, hardly seem to be likely suspects. Apart from that, it is an inconvenient place to access. islandman
  • Score: 3

9:48am Sun 30 Mar 14

PORTLAND ROVER says...

islandman wrote:
Isolated premises, known donations, but, only those who have visited would have known where money was. Having visited Fancy's Farm a couple of times with grandchildren, those who have been visiting at the same time, hardly seem to be likely suspects. Apart from that, it is an inconvenient place to access.
Portland is very lucky to have such a great community farm, Perhaps the location isn't a perfect backdrop, but It is the only suitable area around here to have such a farm. Whether tis a isolated area or not, it does not give morons the right to invade and steal money from the farm donated bt the very community that the farm is run for. Jon and Soozi, and all the helpers work very hard at keeping this place open to the public... the smiles on Kids and adults faces as they get up close to the animals is testament to their work. Portland is very lucky indeed to have a community farm. There are not many farms that young children can actually touch and interact with animals, and Jon and Soozi are very deft in allowing this to happen whilst ensuring the safety of the children and adults at all times. Recent times have proved that organised gangs are coming from elsewhere to inflict damage and theft to premises on Portland and judging by the way the bars of the windows were removed, it is quite obvious that this was a planned raid and not so much an opportunist raid by local gangs. I am thankful that none of the animal were harmed in this raid and to Jon and soozi, these are their priority. No one deserves this... and due to this money being stolen which is earmarked to feed and run the farm it is not only a theft from the animals, it is a theft from the community and those people who were generous with their donations, it is as bad as stealing from charity buckets like RNLI and Rotary. I doubt very much these morons will be caught... but if they are, they must be publicly shamed. But our country's Justice system which is a farce to say the least, would not allow this, and I would suggest that a slap on the wrist and a small fine to the courts would be the outcome. I know what I would do with them...But that would lead me straight to Jail with no Get out of Jail quick card... Perhaps it is is a good job that I don't run our Justice system.
[quote][p][bold]islandman[/bold] wrote: Isolated premises, known donations, but, only those who have visited would have known where money was. Having visited Fancy's Farm a couple of times with grandchildren, those who have been visiting at the same time, hardly seem to be likely suspects. Apart from that, it is an inconvenient place to access.[/p][/quote]Portland is very lucky to have such a great community farm, Perhaps the location isn't a perfect backdrop, but It is the only suitable area around here to have such a farm. Whether tis a isolated area or not, it does not give morons the right to invade and steal money from the farm donated bt the very community that the farm is run for. Jon and Soozi, and all the helpers work very hard at keeping this place open to the public... the smiles on Kids and adults faces as they get up close to the animals is testament to their work. Portland is very lucky indeed to have a community farm. There are not many farms that young children can actually touch and interact with animals, and Jon and Soozi are very deft in allowing this to happen whilst ensuring the safety of the children and adults at all times. Recent times have proved that organised gangs are coming from elsewhere to inflict damage and theft to premises on Portland and judging by the way the bars of the windows were removed, it is quite obvious that this was a planned raid and not so much an opportunist raid by local gangs. I am thankful that none of the animal were harmed in this raid and to Jon and soozi, these are their priority. No one deserves this... and due to this money being stolen which is earmarked to feed and run the farm it is not only a theft from the animals, it is a theft from the community and those people who were generous with their donations, it is as bad as stealing from charity buckets like RNLI and Rotary. I doubt very much these morons will be caught... but if they are, they must be publicly shamed. But our country's Justice system which is a farce to say the least, would not allow this, and I would suggest that a slap on the wrist and a small fine to the courts would be the outcome. I know what I would do with them...But that would lead me straight to Jail with no Get out of Jail quick card... Perhaps it is is a good job that I don't run our Justice system. PORTLAND ROVER
  • Score: 9

10:46am Sun 30 Mar 14

terra firma says...

Was it a Ram raid or just the usual black sheep?
Was it a Ram raid or just the usual black sheep? terra firma
  • Score: -6

12:20pm Sun 30 Mar 14

chesil beach says...

With a £250.00 reward hopefully some one will let the police or the farm know the name or names of this scum,
With a £250.00 reward hopefully some one will let the police or the farm know the name or names of this scum, chesil beach
  • Score: 2

1:24pm Sun 30 Mar 14

islandman says...

Portland rover. Couldn't agree more. It was less than a fortnight ago on a cold grey day, that we took full use of these facilities. Even today, whilst visiting family in Swanage, we were telling them how great the place is.
Portland rover. Couldn't agree more. It was less than a fortnight ago on a cold grey day, that we took full use of these facilities. Even today, whilst visiting family in Swanage, we were telling them how great the place is. islandman
  • Score: 6

8:41pm Sun 30 Mar 14

oldbrock says...

we always go along the fence to the old gun emplacements to see the shadow of HMS HOOD sunk as blockship in the Southern entrance 100years ago this year and those sheep or goats whichever is about are beautifully kept, we look forward to seeing them in that fenced in field, I hope the culprit/s never have any luck with that money, they are the absolute dregs of society.
we always go along the fence to the old gun emplacements to see the shadow of HMS HOOD sunk as blockship in the Southern entrance 100years ago this year and those sheep or goats whichever is about are beautifully kept, we look forward to seeing them in that fenced in field, I hope the culprit/s never have any luck with that money, they are the absolute dregs of society. oldbrock
  • Score: 0

8:22am Mon 31 Mar 14

pajero4x4 says...

terra firma wrote:
Was it a Ram raid or just the usual black sheep?
Get a life ET and go home you moron
[quote][p][bold]terra firma[/bold] wrote: Was it a Ram raid or just the usual black sheep?[/p][/quote]Get a life ET and go home you moron pajero4x4
  • Score: 0

8:32am Mon 31 Mar 14

pajero4x4 says...

A very sad and dis heartening read. I will put some funds in your Pay-Pal account,it won't be a great deal but at least it will be a start.You know who I am.
A very sad and dis heartening read. I will put some funds in your Pay-Pal account,it won't be a great deal but at least it will be a start.You know who I am. pajero4x4
  • Score: 1

4:12pm Mon 31 Mar 14

seashellbill says...

It's a sad fact that Portland now attracts the kind of scum that steals from a community asset like this. However there's also an element of naivety that anyone leaves a significant amount of cash in a till overnight. A safe, bolted to a floor would have at least foiled the low life's that carried out this robbery. let's hope they get caught soon and get more than a slap on the wrist for being bad boys / girls, or whatever.
It's a sad fact that Portland now attracts the kind of scum that steals from a community asset like this. However there's also an element of naivety that anyone leaves a significant amount of cash in a till overnight. A safe, bolted to a floor would have at least foiled the low life's that carried out this robbery. let's hope they get caught soon and get more than a slap on the wrist for being bad boys / girls, or whatever. seashellbill
  • Score: 0

6:15pm Mon 31 Mar 14

Cine-Cal says...

The couple that run this farm have worked so hard to produce an attraction that my grandchildren and hundreds of other children absolutely love so I hope the lowlife that did this feel proud of themselves!!
The couple that run this farm have worked so hard to produce an attraction that my grandchildren and hundreds of other children absolutely love so I hope the lowlife that did this feel proud of themselves!! Cine-Cal
  • Score: 0

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