SPRINGFIELD GNOMADS By Andrea Damewood The Register-Guard
Published: Thursday, November 1, 2007
SPRINGFIELD — These gnomes need to go home.
Apparently part of an elaborate prank, about 75 lawn ornaments turned up outside a Thurston area home on Oct. 17, meticulously placed on and around the front lawn, Springfield police said.
Probably stolen from other yards, the porcelain and plastic refugees were rounded up and taken to the Springfield police station, which is now serving as a temporary site for the wayward lawn ornaments and is where they are waiting for their owners to claim them and return them to their suburban habitat.
“We need to get them out of here,” Springfield Capt. Richard Harrison said. “Every time I leave my office they’re sitting in my chair, working on my computer. I can’t seem to get rid of the darn things.”
Small-time gnome theft is common, but usually the ornaments are returned without police becoming involved, Harrison said.
But the mid-October feat was so large that there was no hope for the prank victim to find all the owners of the liberated elves single-handedly.
“They go from the generic, seven-dwarf-type gnome to a weather gnome that’s holding a rain gauge, a goose, a donkey, ceramic deer and some frogs,” Harrison said. “I mean, it’s endless.”
To expedite the woodland creatures’ migration out of the department, Springfield police will hold a viewing from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday at the station, 344 N. A St.
Because many people don’t make the effort to file a report for 24-inch-high kitsch, he said, “If they come here and they can identify it, we’re more than happy to let the gnome go home.”
After that, all ditched decor is destined for an upcoming city auction, where the gnomes will have to hope they make their way into the hearts of new prospective buyers.
“It’s kind of like an adoption process, I guess,” Harrison said. “We’ll put him out there and if somebody takes to him, they can bid on him.”
Despite the guffaws the gnomes have raised in the station, he said police have invested hours cataloging the ornaments and trying to find their rightful owners. They’ve also had to investigate the case, though no one has been cited.
“There is a serious side to this,” Harrison said. “Some of these are really intricate; I’m sure there’s some emotional attachment to them. Someone is the victim of a theft.”
I came across this while serfing the web, oddly enough this happened only one city away from where I live.
I always knew there was something funky about garden gnomes =p .
I've been hearing about this a lot lately. People like gnomes huh? Enough to steal them? I bet it's those pesky teenagers, with their...Rock-and-Roll music.... :p