Stolen Bridge of Flowers plants returned

  • Plants and flowers stolen from the Bridge of Flowers last week have been returned by the suspects who took them, according to the Buckland Police Department. Courtesy Photo/BUCKLAND POLICE DEPARTMENT

  • The Bridge of Flowers, a former trolley bridge, was transformed into a blossom-filled walkway by the Shelburne Falls Area Women’s Club 91 years ago. STAFF File PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 5/12/2020 2:08:59 PM

BUCKLAND — The plants and flowers stolen from the Bridge of Flowers last week have been returned by the suspects who initially took them, according to the Buckland Police Department.

The flowers were turned in to the Buckland Police Department Monday evening. Buckland Police Chief James Hicks said that although the flowers were brought to his department, the Shelburne Police Department has jurisdiction on the case. Shelburne was contacted to take possession of the plants and speak with the two female suspects.

According to Bridge of Flowers Committee member Carol Angus, the committee will be requesting a meeting with the Police Department to discuss further action. It is undetermined whether the group will press charges.

“There is a lot of information yet to be gathered, but we are grateful for the police taking quick action and for the return of the plants,” Angus said. “One of our concerns is to really be clear about exactly why these women did what they did, or see if they had any involvement in previous thefts that we have had on the bridge.”

The bridge has experienced a series of thefts over the past two years. This led to the installation of the security cameras on the bridge, which record 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and store footage for review.

Footage of the suspects was captured by security cameras at approximately 5 a.m. on May 5. The suspects, who were wearing hooded jackets, were seen arriving and leaving with the plants in hand. According to Bridge of Flowers’ head gardener Carol DeLorenzo, the plants stolen included two “rather prized” clematis, three delphiniums and three six-packs of snapdragons.

The Shelburne and Buckland police departments released images of the suspects from the security camera footage, which aided in the investigation.

Angus said one of the suspects was reportedly recognized by a local resident, who notified police. She said the Bridge of Flowers Committee hoped to deter future theft by publicizing the images from the security footage.

“We’re pleased the security system did what it was intended to do,” Angus said. “This was a test of it. Even though we spent hard-earned dollars, it has done the trick.”

On Monday evening, the Buckland Police Department posted a picture of the returned flowers to its Facebook page and thanked residents who took the time to look at the image stills of the suspects, share the post and contact them with information.

This season marks 91 years since the former trolley bridge was transformed into a blossom-filled walkway by the Shelburne Falls Area Women’s Club. The bridge, which spans the Deerfield River, is a big draw for flower-loving tourists, although it is currently closed due to the pandemic.

Zack DeLuca can be reached at zdeluca@recorder.com or 413-930-4579.

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