Bonsai trees stolen from Mawson Lakes garden prompting police investigation

Police are on the hunt for a light-fingered, green-fingered thief who made off with a large amount of valuable bonsai trees from the back garden of an Adelaide home.

More than 20 of the miniature trees were reported missing from a home on Lakefield Crescent in Mawson Lakes earlier this month.

Police said a “large number” of plants were stolen after entering the back garden of the house on Saturday February 5.

This includes mature bonsai trees over 40 years old and worth about $20,000, police said.

The victim reported that “three large bonsai trees were stolen” from the property on Tuesday, February 15.

A file image of a black pine bonsai. (ABC Northern Tasmania: Sarah Abbott)

Luke from the SA Bonsai Society told ABC Radio Adelaide Afternoons host Sonya Feldhoff that there is also strong sentimental value associated with bonsai.

“There are bonsai that change hands for that kind of money, but the true value of bonsai is the aesthetic and sentimental value,” he said.

“My own collection here, most I didn’t pay any money for them, they were grown from seed cuttings and cultivated by me for many years.

“What price do you put on that for watering and pruning every day for years, even decades? A thousand dollars might not seem like enough.”

Luke said it would be difficult for thieves to sell the stolen trees.

“That’s a hard thing to understand about bonsai theft, where the hell would you try to sell them?” he said.

“The Australian bonsai community is quite a tight-knit community and everyone from all bonsai clubs, Facebook and all other platforms will be keeping an eye out for these trees.”

Police have asked anyone with knowledge of the robberies or who saw suspicious activity in the area at the time of the robberies to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or online.

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