The mysterious Valentine’s Day Bandit who has been papering Portland with red hearts every year since 1976 may have outdone himself, or herself, or themselves this year.

Just take a look at Fort Gorges.

A huge red heart hung from the fort on Hog Island Ledge in Casco Bay on Tuesday – no simple feat given the cold temperatures and recent storm.

That doesn’t mean the rest of Portland got any less love. There just seemed to be more of it this year. And it’s hard to ignore that one of the bandit’s most prominent placements was on such a visible symbol of strife: Fort Gorges was built during the Civil War (though no troops were ever stationed there).

Maybe the Valentine’s Day Bandit sensed that everyone needed an extra boost this time around. Nicely done, bandit.

One big heart hangs from the front of Longfellow Elementary School on Stevens Avenue in Portland on Monday. Photo courtesy Preserve Deering Neighborhood

The Valentine’s Day Bandit left a mark on the Portland Public Library on Congress Street. Courtesy Portland Public Library

The church at the corner of Stevens Avenue and Brentwood Street in Portland is a adorned with hearts on Tuesday. Photo courtesy Preserve Deering Neighborhood

The Valentine’s Day Bandit hit this 63-unit apartment block under construction at the corner of York and High streets in Portland on Tuesday. Staff Photo by Jim Patrick

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