AUGUSTA — The latest unscheduled withdrawal at a local credit union was from the flower bed, and it was all caught on surveillance video.

A plant snatcher struck the Capital Area Federal Credit Union between 9:20 and 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, digging up a couple perennials planted a few years ago in two different flower beds around the North Belfast Avenue building.

“We love to make our gardens look beautiful for the community to share in, but that doesn’t mean they’re there for the taking,” Diana Winkley, the credit union’s president and chief executive officer, said today.

The unusual crime was reported to Augusta police today, Winkley said, once workers were able to isolate the footage from surveillance cameras. Winkley said the vehicle appears to be an SUV.

“You can watch it on tape,” Winkley said. “You can see the car drive up. The driver pulls directly into the credit union as the curb goes around. We can see a person get out of passenger side back seat. They were there for a few minutes. They didn’t just pull them up, they dug them up. Then they drive out and stop on street in front of our other flower bed, get out and take more.”

It all happens within three to five minutes.

“They knew what they were looking for,” Winkley said. Outside, she pointed to the holes in the dirt in the flower beds.

She said she contacted the credit union’s landscaper, Rob Robinson of R&A Robinson Landscaping in Manchester, and learned the abducted plants were day lilies and bee balms put in as part of the landscaping required by the city when the building was erected in 2007.

“We maintain them and they always look nice,” Winkley said, still shaking her head over such an unusual theft.
 


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