Residents of Sheffield Lake, Ohio, thought that deer were responsible for removing the flowers planted alongside the city’s covered bridge. But when police watched surveillance video taken at the scene, they found something even more shocking.
It turns out the missing flowers were taken deliberately by 63-year-old Deborah Stottlemire, who wanted the flowers to plant in her own yard.
When police arrived at Stottlemire’s home, they saw that the stolen goods were planted right in her front garden.
Locals were upset by the petty theft, too, which resulted in a $269 fine for the culprit.
Lovette Malatarich, another Sheffield Lake resident, said that the flowers had been planted by elementary school-age Girl Scouts.
“My daughter is a Brownie and the day they planted flowers for the area that they were going to meet in, they were so excited. Not that it made any difference that Brownies planted it, but it’s just nice to walk here and see the flowers,” Malatarich told Fox8 in Cleveland.
Maybe next time, the thief should just visit a local garden supply shop or find a florist online — she has 36,613 of the latter to choose from here in the United States!
Perhaps even more baffling is that Stottlemire returned to the scene just days later, this time trying to replant the flowers that she’d stolen and display an apology sign. Police told her and the man accompanying her to move along, and make her restitution in court instead.
When reached for comment, however, Stottlemire did say that she felt badly about the incident.
The 63-year-old told police that she hadn’t had the money to buy flowers, which had motivated her to steal them, topsoil and all.
But Sheffield Lake Police Chief Tony Campo said this isn’t the first time Stottlemire’s been in trouble with the law.
“We had a previous incident with her in December of last year over a petty theft at a local store,” Campo said.
Stottlemire is due to appear in Mayor’s Court on Aug. 4.