Saturday, June 24, 2017

Good Samaritan saves the day after heartless thieves steal sentimental flowers from Surrey Downs couple

FOR four long weeks, Surrey Downs couple Brian and Ann Bennett wondered how low society could possibly go.

Last month, the pair discovered two of their "magnificent" chrysanthemums had been stolen overnight, just 3m from their front door.

The purple and white flowers with red tips were a Mother's Day gift four years ago from their disabled son, Michael, 36, who suffers from cerebral palsy.

"We were going to put some of the chrysanthemums on my mother's grave," Brian says. "They had struggled to grow until this year ... they were magnificent."

His wife, Ann, was equally gutted. "It was like being winded, punched in the solar plexus," she says.

"It gives you that uneasy feeling that somebody's poking that close to your front door, I was really angry. I'm no green thumb, I'm more of a brown thumb, but the flowers had really taken off after a few years."

Also taken were three little sentimental ornaments – a Pekinese dog from a "dear-departed friend", an angel and a plaque given to Brian as a retirement gift by his daughter-in-law 14 years ago.

But the Bennetts's story had a kind-hearted twist in store.

Last Sunday, after Brian wrote a letter to the editor in the Leader Weekly lambasting the thieves, an anonymous donor left replacement chrysanthemums by their front door.

"There was a lovely note that read ‘to our lovely neighbours, after the theft of your plant we read your article in the Messenger and thought that we would like to replace your plant," Ann says. "It was another punch in the solar plexus, but in a nice way."

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