Seniors want to squash thief

Tuesday was the second time vegetables have been stolen from the Sunset Meadows garden, and the residents are sick of it.

"This is a crying shame," said gardener Judy Wheeler, a resident of Sunset Meadows senior living center, as she looked over damaged plants. "It's not right that kids do this to the garden. It's just not right."

One resident said she saw three "junior high-aged girls" running away from the garden plots recently with three large spaghetti squash in their hands.

Dorothy Cox had been growing the squash for months. She lost four squash in two days and had another squash taken without her permission from a relative visiting a resident at the complex.

The gardens are a source of pride for seniors, some of whom can be found tending to them every evening.

Some residents who worried that their vegetables would be stolen harvested them before they had matured fully.

A couple of years ago, Sunset Meadows residents were upset when one or more people stole watermelons from their gardens and smashed them in a parking lot across the street.

Residents said they can't afford to fence their property. This year, gardeners added a chemical to the edges of their gardens to keep deer away. That worked for the deer, but residents wonder how they'll keep other unwanted visitors from stealing vegetables they've been tending for months. "They didn't want me to call the police," Wheeler said about the other gardeners. "We did want the parents to know if their kids come home with vegetables that aren't theirs. If parents can't help us, then we'll call the police."

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