Bonsai tree owners set up alarms after rash of thefts in the Twin Cities

Bonsai trees, like those in gardener Dave Hinrichs's yard, have been the target of thieves and forced homeowners to take steps to secure the trees. (FOX 9)

After trees worth thousands of dollars have been stolen in recent months from across the Twin Cities metro, bonsai tree enthusiasts are pushing to get their trees back.

Friday, Hopkins police put out an alert, searching for suspects in the theft of three rare bonsai trees worth between $25,000 and $30,000. A $3,000 reward has been offered in that case.

Elsewhere in the Twin Cities, thefts in St. Paul and Minneapolis have been reported.

Bonsai trees are so rare and valuable in some cases that the Como Park Zoo has an entire exhibit dedicated to them. They can sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars in some cases, but they’re also a popular hobby plant for many gardeners.

suspect bonsai

Surveillance cameras captured multiple images of suspect in the the theft of two bonsai trees in Hopkins, Minnesota. (Hopkins Police Department)

"Some of these trees are hundreds of years old and they’ve been passed down from generation to generation, and there’s a lot of work involved in keeping something like that alive," said bonsai gardener Dave Hinrichs.

"You’re putting a lot of work into something where it becomes personal; it’s not like stealing something from the store," added Hinrichs.

That gardener estimates the trees he’s had stolen are worth up to $10,000.

"It would make me feel better because I believe it’s the same person that’s been stealing them," he added. "Mostly, I just want to get my trees back."

Police can’t confirm if any of these cases are connected, but they are investigating.