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Bonsai tree thefts have Hopkins police on the lookout

The trees are very popular with specialized groups and clubs, and are said to be worth thousands of dollars.
Credit: Hopkins PD

HOPKINS, Minn. — Most police officers will tell you that crooks are not picky about what they steal. They'll take cars, bikes, wallets, home goods... anything that's not nailed down and is worth something.

But Hopkins police are currently working on a case that involves the theft of something quite unusual: trees. A resident recently reported that two Bonsai trees were stolen from their yard, along with another rare tree that is more than two centuries old. 

Police say the first thefts involved a Japanese Hornbeam tree brought over to Hopkins from Japan, and a Korean Hornbeam tree. Both are approximately 80 years old, and carry emotional meaning along with financial value. 

Bonsai trees are said to be worth thousands of dollars, and have become extremely popular with clubs and collectors.  

"These trees are like dear friends to the owners who have nurtured and cared for them for many years," reads a news release sent out by Hopkins police. "Heartbreaking to have this happen."

Credit: Hopkins PD
Bonsai trees are worth thousands of dollars, and have become quite popular with clubs and collectors.

There is also concern because Bonsai trees require constant and meticulous care, including watering several times each day. 

The second theft targeted a Ponderosa Pine that is more than 250 years old, collected along with a Forest Service permit from the Rocky Mountains. 

A $3,000 reward is being offered for the safe return of the trees. Hopkins police say Bonsai trees have also been stolen in St. Paul and northeast Minneapolis.

Anyone with information on the thefts or those responsible are asked to call Hopkins police at 952-258-5321. 

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