Kevin L. Hoover
JANES ROAD – Sometime during the night of June 9 and the morning of June 10, thieves partly defoliated the patio garden serving senior citizens of Mad River Community Hospital’s Adult Day Health Care (ADHC ) program.
The thieves had to climb a fence to steal the rose bushes, lilies, irises and even two Japanese maple trees, one of which had been there 10 years. Soil and soil amendments were also taken.
“This is our sanctuary,” said Virginia Moyer, activity director. “It’s been violated.”
Some 56 elders are enrolled in the non-profit ADHC program, which is a separate entity from the hospital.
There, they enjoy arts and crafts, bingo, physical and occupational therapy and the leafy patio out back.
But ugly holes where root balls have been ripped out marked fresh gaps in the greenery, increasing the sense of violation.
“It’s degraded our spirit quite a bit,” Moyer said. On the hospital’s grounds to the west, trees have been chained up to prevent theft.
Police Chief Tom Chapman said thefts of foliage are common. “It is absolutely a ‘thing,’” he said. “It’s similar to vandalism, in that rarely do you catch someone in the act.”
The ADHC bush and tree burglars made quick work of their thefts, leaving behind other garden items that might have been of interest such as planters and tools. But they were able to do significant damage.
“I’m just hoping they don’t come back,” Moyer said. “I’m not sure whether to replant.”