SOUTHINGTON – A local plant nursery is looking for help in identifying and stopping a thief from stealing their flowers.
Mary Lou Geremia, owner of Geremia Gardens, 1720 West St., said several thousand dollars worth of flower baskets have been stolen from her business during five different incidents since the beginning of May.
The store has video footage of the man, appearing to be in his 40s or 50s, who has parked at a neighboring golf range and walked across the street to take flowers from the front of her shop, Geremia said.
Multiple trips to and from the store for the thefts, which last about 20 to 40 minutes and are around the same time, 11:30 p.m. to midnight, are seen in the video, she added.
The man started to take only hanging baskets of flowers from the front of the store, but has also taken shrubs and other planting items, Geremia said. The man particularly likes taking the Mandevilla flowers, which are about $50 each, she added.
“I assume he’s selling them,” said Geremia, adding the volume of flowers he’s taking is too much for a lone residential property.
After the first theft Geremia said they installed “several cameras to catch the guy,” but all they have is a face and the type of car being used, which may be an SUV. No license plate or make and model of car can be seen, she said.
“It’s unfortunate,” said Southington police Lt. Stephen Elliot. His department is investigating the matter by checking in with businesses in the area and reviewing surveillance footage, he added.
Because of the nature of the business, nurseries have to keep their product outside to receive sunlight and grow, which leaves the businesses vulnerable to the thefts, Elliot added.
Police are not limiting the suspect to one individual, Elliot continued, saying there may be another person acting as a lookout or a driver.
Police aren’t aware of other plant thefts going on in town, Elliot added.
Charles Paullin can be reached at 860-801-5074 or firstname.lastname@example.org.