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CRIME Rash of garden gnome thefts hits Colorado town



Published: Sat, July 23, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS

GREELEY, Colo. -- Perhaps it was a lack of gnomeland security that pushed Elsie Schnorr into the ranks of Greeley's gnomeless.

She's not exactly sure how it happened, but she thinks she knows how to describe the culprit: jobless, bored and without anything better to do than go around trolling for gnomes.

On May 31 several of Schnorr's garden gnomes were stolen, and then a few days later, the robber came back for seconds, all in all stealing 30 of Schnorr's prized gnomes -- little statues that serve as garden decorations.

And Schnorr wasn't alone.

Just recently, children found black bags with 80 gnomes behind an apartment complex in Greeley, police Sgt. Tom Walde said.

"They're just like little people, only they don't talk to you," Schnorr said.

The gnomes vary in size, typically from 6 to 12 inches. Some are made of concrete and others molded plastic. Greeley police are holding the gnomes in a secure area at the station. People can set up an appointment to stop by, identify and claim their gnomes.




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