Could You Pick Your Stolen Pumpkin Out of a Police Lineup?

Missouri police attempt to return stolen squash to owners with Facebook photo.

By Ethan L. Johns
October 26, 2017

Image: Maryland Heights Police Officers Association/Facebook

Most fans of crime television appreciate the scenes where suspects are put up against a wall. The victims and witnesses stay behind a two-way mirror and identify the perpetrator. Last week, officers in a St. Louis suburb staged a lineup that turned out to be quite out of the ordinary.

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After receiving multiple calls on October 17th from residents reporting stolen Halloween decorations, officers ventured out to investigate. Missing pumpkins everywhere! Luckily for the fuzz, one victim was able to provide a description of the vehicle that had been used to pilfer their precious pumpkins. Not that a description was necessarily needed; when officers stopped the red SUV in question, its trunk was stuffed like a Thanksgiving turkey. Stuffed with pumpkins, that is.

The three perps—one 16-year-old and two 18-year-olds—were promptly pinched. With the total tally of purloined pumpkins coming in at 49 (congratulations, convicts, on an admirable attempt) the police were far from pleased. The minor was referred to juvenile court while the majors were charged with misdemeanor theft.

When it came time to return the 48 pumpkins and one large, long-necked gourd to their rightful owners, they arrived at a dilemma. To whom do these orange orbs belong? Their solution was priceless.

The next day, the Maryland Heights Police Officers Association posted a photo of the pumpkins on Facebook that shows all of the squash lined up against the wall. A plexiglass riot shield is even photobombing off to the right. According to the AP, they have been “inundated” with pumpkin seekers, but as of Tuesday, 12 were yet to be claimed.

The residents of Maryland Heights should consider themselves lucky, as not all disappeared pumpkins are so quickly recovered. Despite requests to this writer’s local police department, the racoon that stole his jack-o-lantern has yet to be captured.

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About Ethan L. Johns

Ethan is the Food News Writer at Genius Kitchen. An expert on the Parisian bistrot, he likes bitters and salted butters, and is no fan of dessert unless it's made with fruit. His hobbies include reading up on the history of borscht and attempting to roll perfect couscous by hand. Twits & Instagram @EthanLJohns