Theft of flowers at church ‘heartbreaking’

EDMONDS — Thieves have been hitting Maplewood Presbyterian Church in Edmonds in recent weeks, taking off with the church’s rose bushes and petunia plants.

“They dig them out and just leave the holes. They take everything,” said Fran Steffen, a church deacon who works in the garden every week.

Steffen estimates roughly a dozen petunia plants and four good-sized rose bushes have been stolen in the past two weeks. The church along 84th Avenue W. has a video surveillance system, but the cameras didn’t catch the thefts, she said.

Edmonds police are investigating, Sgt. Mark Marsh said Tuesday.

Some of the stolen rose bushes were planted to remember church members who’ve died, Steffen said.

“It’s pretty heartbreaking,” she said. “I know there’s a lot of people in the church who are upset that someone would come along and dig them up like that.”

The church garden is maintained by volunteers, she said.

They’re considering moving the memorial rose garden to face the street to discourage any more thefts.

“I don’t want to plant anymore if they keep taking them,” she said.

Anyone interested in donating rose bushes to the church can call 425-778-5248.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449;

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