‘Green Thumb Bandit’ strikes Metro East nursery

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BELLEVILLE, Ill. - She's being called the Green Thumb Bandit after a striking a Belleville garden center four times within one month.

The owner of Sandy’s Back Porch Garden has surveillance footage of the thief caught in the act.

The owner says she's got the best mums in town. But she is trying to figure out why someone would steal from her business.

Various security cameras captured the female thief in the act as she made away with at least a $1,000 worth of merchandise. “I started reviewing the security cameras and one thing leads to the next and we noticed at least four nights she had been here and she had been stealing items,” said Sandy Richter.

According to St. Clair County Sheriff's Department, the green thumb bandit got away with dozens of plants, flowers, potting soil, and mulch.

The owner has been in business for 13-years and says apparently this customer prefers to shop at night, after hours.

“It's so disheartening as a small business. You work very hard and anyone who owns a small business understands that and or someone to feel that they can come up and steal from you with no regret is bothersome,” said Richter.

In the video you can see the suspect looking for mums, then grabs a rolling wagon and fills it with potting soil and other items, she then dumps the items in her car and takes off.

“She was prepared, she had her hair cap and a headlight. It's night time and had on dark long sleeve clothing, she also had a tattoo. It’s creepy she knew what she was doing, she knew where everything was,” said Richter.

The owner posted the video on her social media site and it was shared close to 900 times with at least 100 comments with people wanting the person responsible taken into custody.

“I feel sorry for somebody who feels they have to do this. The sheriff asked me if I would prosecute and I said to the fullest extent of the law.”

The owner says she has checked with a few other gardens in the area and they are missing some items also. The St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department encourages anyone who recognizes the woman in the surveillance video to contact police.

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