Edmonds church twice targeted by flower thieves

EDMONDS, Wash. -- Members of an Edmonds church are upset after thieves twice ransacked the church's memorial garden, stealing roses and flowers.

The first incident happened on Mother's Day, when thieves dug up dozens of petunias and three rose bushes at Maplewood Presbyterian Church.

For Fran Steffen, the crime is much worse than simple theft. She planted every flower in the garden in the memory of a member of the congregation who passed away.

"I can't believe someone would do something like that, especially at a church," Steffen said. "It was in memory of them, so I was very disappointed."

A week after the first theft, the garden was hit again. Steffen said many of the people memorialized in the garden belonged to the church for a long time, and the garden has become the congregation's way of saying "thank you."

"A lot of them been here probably 50-years, or when the church first started," Steffen said.

Edmonds police say flower theft happens more than most people think. The crooks pluck the plants and sell them to make a quick buck.

"Sometimes they'll take them to meets -- swap meets -- or community sales," said Sgt. Mark Marsh with the Edmonds Police Department.

People around town can't believe someone would steal from the church.

"It's very upsetting," one resident said. "I don't think you should take things that don't belong to you."

After the two recent thefts, the church is in no hurry to plant again.

"You know, they have to live with themselves now," Steffen said.

Police have not made any arrests in the case. The church is equipped with surveillance cameras, but they didn't capture the crimes.