Prowler Dumps Garden Gnomes on Lawn

Residents of one Dallas, Texas community have noticed several unauthorized garden gnomes popping up on their front yards.

No, the official wandering Travelocity gnome hasn’t made any scheduled appearances in the neighborhood, but residents suspect the gnomes are tied to a string of home burglaries in the area.

On Oct. 19, a suspicious prowler was caught on video placing items in front of the Lakewood neighborhood home in the middle of the night. The man in the video had a flashlight in hand and placed several items on the family’s lawn – including a garden gnome. After strategically unloading the items, the prowler retreated back to the front porch and left the property. Later that same day, the owner of the home, Laura Stolk, said a suspicious black sedan, slowly drove by staring at the items.

The owner of the home notified police, but officers did not request to see the video. “I did call the police, and they declined to view the video,” said Stolk. “They just said that it didn’t seem important.”

According to the most recent data from U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Justice, in 2009, burglaries in the U.S. accounted for more than two million crimes in cities with populations more than 100,000 – including the Dallas-Fort Worth area with more than six million residents.

When a similar incident occurred in Austin, Texas, this past August, home surveillance video of a prowler served as key evidence in a burglary case. Officers identified and arrested the man in the video one week after the home owner reported a break-in to police. Granted the home was actually robbed, but perhaps the video of Stolk’s property prowler could help police look out for the man in the video and prevent a future crime.

The man caught on Stolk’s surveillance video did not break-in, so his late-night shenanigans could be tied to drunken stupidity, but his front yard prowling and gnome placement fits the same criteria of at least 10 home burglaries in the Lakewood neighborhood within the past year.

Watch the prowler in action below.

Posted by Christina Miralla on Oct 28, 2011

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