8fbd035081bd09934004bfc61d79c31c5d5d9ee4

Bonsai trees stolen from Oakland garden near Lake Merritt

In the East Bay, there was an unusual theft of priceless and cherished tiny trees. 

It happened at the Bonsai Garden near Lake Merritt in Oakland on Wednesday morning, around 4:15 a.m. 

Thieves stole eight artistic and valuable Japanese-style trees, valued at over $20,000. But it’s not the value, according to Director Gordon Deeg, who’s volunteered at the garden for over 20 years. 

He said, “The fact is, they’re not replaceable.” Surveillance video caught one of the thieves carrying off a tree. It’s thought there were two masked burglars. 

The thieves had to penetrate two fences, dodge surveillance cameras and seemed to selectively choose the bonsai specimens they carried off. 

The garden is staffed by volunteers. Some who have put in several hours every week for years. The trees are donated, grown from seeds and some are very rare and valuable. 

A volunteer carefully cares for a bonsai tree in the collection in the Bonsai Garden in Oakland near Lake Merritt.

Gary, who did not give his last name, is the curator of the garden, and has been coming at least twice a week for 23 years. He said, “This is the fourth time in two years. This time they came and just kicked in the fence and took wire cutters to cut the wired portions and carried out every tree they could carry.” 

Volunteers at the 25-year-old garden are asking people to keep an eye out online, as the bonsai trees stolen last April were found to be for sale on

Read the rest

Eight ‘priceless’ BONSAI trees are stolen from volunteer garden in crime-ridden Oakland – the fourth such theft in two years – as California city’s progressive

A volunteer-run garden in Oakland has been stolen from for the fourth time in two years, losing eight ‘priceless’ bonsai trees, as the mayor and district attorney of the city are both facing recall efforts over crime.

Thieves broke through the wall of the Bonsai Garden in Lake Merritt, California, twice on Wednesday evening and Thursday early morning, making off with eight bonsai trees worth approximately $20,000 in total.

‘While you can put a dollar amount on these trees, they are technically priceless because you’ll never find another tree like them,’ Suzanne Muller, the garden’s assistant director, told the San Francisco Chronicle.

Despite wooden walls, metal fences and a surveillance camera, the thieves managed to break into the garden and steal the trees, including a hinoki cypress that was about 100 years old.

The theft of the bonsai trees adds to the city’s soaring crime records, which documented 15,000 vehicles stolen last year and criminals striking gas stations a dozen times or more per day.

 

Security camera footage shows thieves entered the Bonsai Garden in Lake Merritt, California, on Wednesday night

Security camera footage shows thieves entered the Bonsai Garden in Lake Merritt, California, on Wednesday night

The thieves returned again Thursday early morning, making off with eight bonsai trees worth approximately $20,000 in total

The thieves returned again Thursday early morning, making off with eight bonsai trees worth approximately $20,000 in total

Despite wooden walls, metal fences, and a surveillance camera, the thieves managed to break into the garden and steal the trees, including a hinoki cypress that was about 100 years old

Despite wooden walls, metal fences, and a surveillance camera, the thieves managed to break into the garden and steal the trees, including a hinoki cypress that was about 100 years old

Security camera footage shows thieves entered the garden at around 9:20 pm on Wednesday and then again after 4 am on Thursday.  

The eight bonsai trees include small hand-sized trees that the thieves were able to carry out through the fence, the garden’s curator Gary Tom told KTVU

They attempted to take a ninth tree, a 60-pound redwood, but it was too large to fit through the hole in

Read the rest