An angry dog walker says she will not be returning to an ancient woodland after her car was broken into and an Amazon parcel stolen.
Abby Shillingford had enjoyed a stroll at Dering Wood near Ashford when she found her back passenger window had been smashed.
The 29-year-old had left the unmarked cardboard box on the back seat of her Vauxhall Astra, which was in the site’s car park off Smarden Bell Road.
“I’m just really upset if I’m honest. I know it could have been worse but it’s now something I need to sort out and obviously pay for,” Mrs Shillingford said.
“It’s just so sad to think there are people who think this is okay. I know I shouldn’t have left the box there but that was literally the only thing in my car and it’s sad we live in a world where we have to think like that, and can’t leave things in our own cars.
“It’s a lovely walking spot and I now won’t be returning.”
Mrs Shillingford says there is a CCTV sign in the car park, which is between Pluckley and Smarden, but the cameras did not appear to be working.
“Maybe it’s time places like this did have a bit more security,” she said.
“I just think it’s bad enough that it happened but imagine it happening to people who go there with their children. Coming back to seeing that and trying to make sure they don’t hurt themselves on the glass.”
Luckily most of the glass was on the back seat and driver’s seat, with only a couple of shards making it into the boot, so Mrs. Shillingford was able to take her dog home safely.
“I had put the box on the back seat and that’s what they must have done it for,” she said.
“I had a plastic plant pot I was planning to return to Amazon which was in a small unmarked cardboard box and I just needed to drop it at the post office to print the return label.
“I put it in the car planning to do that, and then if I’m honest, completely forgot,”
She added that they were out walking for no longer than 30 minutes when the incident happened on Wednesday, July 27.
“I just couldn’t believe it,” she said.
“There were two other cars in the car park which had been there when we arrived and appeared untouched.
“My car is a 2002 Vauxhall Astra so not worth anything – I couldn’t understand it at all.”
‘These incidents are very rare…’
A spokesperson for the Woodland Trust, which manages the site, said: “It’s of course concerning that this sort of incident is happening at the wood.
“The wood is free to visit and the vast majority of visitors are there for the right reasons – to enjoy time in nature.
“While these incidents are very rare, we have recently put more wardens on patrol and we do ask the public to follow the necessary precautions – ensure cars are locked and to remain vigilant and report any suspicious behavior to the police.”
Anyone who witnessed the incident or who has any information should call the police on 01843 222289, quoting reference 46/145120/22.