Police seeking lemon tree thief
Timaru police are on the lookout for a green-fingered thief after three lemon trees were stolen from the city's Botanic Gardens.
Constable Hinemoa McMahon said "someone must know" the identity of the culprit.
"Lemon trees are not small, they would be pretty hard to miss. It's disappointing and disheartening that someone would want to steal from a place that is there for all members of the public to enjoy," she said.
"We suspect the thieves were not younger people, and as there is no CCTV in the Botanic Gardens, we want people to keep an eye on anything suspicious. Someone might have created a nice little garden for themselves in the last couple of days."
The trees were stolen on September 4. About 20 hydrangeas were taken the same night.
"The gardens are in full bloom. They stole some quite particular ones. It's not fair for the public that this happened," Ms McMahon said.
Timaru District Council's parks and recreation manager Bill Steans said such thefts were rare.
"We're lucky in that most people are really appreciative of the fact the gardens are a public space for everyone," he said.
"We close off the entrance to vehicles in the evening, but in this case it appears the thieves were a bit more enterprising."
Mr Steans said the trees would have cost about $100 each, while the hydrangeas cost about $20 each.
Anyone with any information can contact the police on 03 6879808.
- © Fairfax NZ News