By Jason DeRusha

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The tough economy may have turned thieves to steal a different kind of green.

Somebody stole plants and planters — worth more than $1,000 — from two yards in the south Minneapolis.

Abby Rutchick has lived on her tree-lined street in Linden Hills for more than 30 years.

“You can kind of tell we’re all gardeners and spend a lot of time out here,” she said. “And really enjoy it, it’s a passion.”

Sometime between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m., somebody stole dozens of plants and planters from her front yard.

Rutchick discovered the thefts when she opened the door Wednesday morning.

“Came out and looked a little further to see all my planters were gone, and everything that was in the pot is gone,” Rutchick said. “It still looks very full, but we know everything that’s missing.”

She says the thieves seemed to know what they were doing.

“These were very discerning plant thieves,” she said.

The thieves stole even more from the house next door.

Rutchick says that altogether they took more than a $1,000 worth of plants and planting items.

They left very little mess, except one thing: a fern.

“That fern, they had that ready to take: it was on the ground and pushed in. They must have just forgotten it,” Rutchick said.

As she gets ready to regroup and replant, Rutchick is left with one thought: the hope that the thieves weren’t themselves gardeners.

“I can’t imagine another gardener taking from gardeners,” she said.

Minneapolis police say they actually get a couple plant thefts a year, but they say they haven’t heard anything else related to this one.

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