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I Hate A Thief

by Bobby Blair
July 28, 2010

I Hate A Thief

Young and old thieves come in different sizes and genders...

Earlier this spring, Holliston Police Officers used a GPS device in a flower pot to track a thief to his home. The flowers had been located in Lake Grove Cemetery on the grave of a young man killed in a motorcycle accident. It was not the first loss of the pot of hanging flowers from the gravesite. While the monetary value of the flowers was minimal, the emotional toll on the mother of the deceased was at best needless.
The accused, Richard Guyette, 55 of Medway, was to have his appearance on charges of larceny in Framingham District Court in early July. While the theft was only a pot of flowers, this reporter has never seen so many people in town happy about the capture of a two-bit thief.

Fast forward several months and the nights are warm. The fragrant lilies in front of the First Congregational Church are in full bloom. This reporter who on a late Tuesday night is making his appointed rounds watering the hanging baskets in the center of town has just pulled up to the water spicket at Town Hall. As I pour a bottle of Miracle Grow into the water tank mounted on my trailer, I notice a car pull up curbside directly across from St. Mary's Rectory. A woman emerges and lifts up the hood of her car.

As I watched in the dim light, the woman seemed to be going back and forth between her car and the sidewalk. While my heart told me to ask the woman if she needed assistance, my gut said something quite different. Before she could escape I ran over to the presumed disabled car. A quick look in the rear seat confirmed my suspicions as there lay four-foot stalks of fragrant white lilies.

I asked the forty-something woman dressed in hospital scrubs what she thought she was doing. "I'm picking some flowers," she said. I told her that the flowers were a public display and on private property.

"Look,' I said to the culprit, "you look old enough to know the difference between taking some flowers and stealing". With that she closed the hood and got in her car and drove off.

Did I get her license plate number you ask? I sure did, and what a coincidence, it comes back as a forty-something year old Medway woman. Below is photo of  the evidence of a damaged and destroyed lily plant the thief left behind. The plants take four years to reach their present height.


As the hour grew late, I watered the milk crate/ flower buckets on Central Street and returned home. Instinctivley I checked the honor jar of my Mudville Flower Stand as I noticed quite a few flower bunches were missing. The small amount of money in the jar did not add up to the missing number of flower bunches. I've been had was my first thought.
Sure enough on Wednesday an alert neighborly adult informed me that the thief, a local teenager, was the culprit. Both instances were reported to the Holliston Police. The next move concerning the teenager is mine to make. Do I call his parents, or press charges and let the problem become a police matter?


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Comments (11)

Mr. Blair, I would be happy to donate a digital camera so that you could record these incidents. A little public humiliation may go a long way.

- Susan Jacobs | 7/31/10 10:12 AM

A little confusion here. The theft at my flower stand was cash $24 not flowers. I called the young man's father and he was none to pleased with junior and plans to make restitution. The woman (lily thief) was called by the Holliston P.D. and denied the theft. No sense going to court over a few lilies. At least she knew someone was watching her behavior.

- Bobby Blair | 7/30/10 11:09 PM

I say Holliston Police Dept, has a good idea of how to deter children from making bad decisions. Let them handle it. If you tell the parents they may just be the ones enjoying the fresh cut flowers on the dinner table. I speak from experience, I havn't thrown a water balloon at a car ever since I had to wash every cop car in Holliston. Good thing that was 30 years ago and we only had 4 or 5 cars at the time.

- Pete Hill | 7/30/10 7:48 PM

Good job on the sticky fingered, lily livered nurse, Bob! As for the teen in question - speak to the parents. If the issue isn't resolved to your satisfaction, the HPD might be helpful.

- sarah commerford | 7/30/10 4:31 PM

Who cares about the kids hormones? That's just another excuse!! It's really simple. If it isn't yours, you don't take it!

- Carol Blair | 7/30/10 11:08 AM

I hope to see this lady written up in the police log! What is wrong with people? I think both parties should be confronted by police and the parents of the youth should be told. If the youth is a repeat offender, the police will know how to proceed. If this is a first time, you/they might just pursue community service through court diversion. As for the Medway lady, in the old days, public humiliation would work. Make her bring them back and replant them at a time when we all can be there!

- Mary Greendale | 7/30/10 2:17 AM

Bust the woman for sure, but the teen might have a hormonal issue and not thinking straight.

- nat simkins | 7/29/10 5:11 PM

While this upsets me, it doesn't surprise me. When we first moved into our house we had 300 blueberry bushes in our backyard. Geoff and I would come home to find people picking our blueberries (in our own backyard!!). When we had the vineyard, before we put in a fence, it was a frequent occurance to find holes in the ground where grape vines had once been. PS Bobby, is anything going to happen so the Medway Lily woman?

- Michelle Zeamer | 7/29/10 3:10 PM

Thank you for sharing this story. I can't even believe she stole flowers from public property, I'm glad you confronted her. As for the teen, they need to learn a lesson...I would call parents and police. Stealing is stealing and it's a crime. Thanks for all you do Bobby, the town looks amazing because of your hard work.

- Andrea | 7/29/10 12:36 PM

This is so disheartening. Stealing flowers from graves? Stealing flowers from in front of a church? Come ON!! Why do people think that is ok? They probably spend twice as much a week buying coffee and cigarettes as those flowers would have cost them to buy. As far as the teen goes, I don't know. I had a rash of middle school aged girls starting to steal from my store, which is heartbreaking. I have always given them the benefit of the doubt and total trust in my store. But they forced me to post a sign that if caught, parents and police would be called. I hated to do it, but theft has dropped off. Good luck with this Bobby! Kate

- Kate Lamontagne | 7/29/10 11:50 AM

send 'em to the clink! IF you don't stop theives, they will continue to steal. This has probably happened ten times over for both offenders. Let the police know, they know the best way to deal with it. Plaster video cameras everywhere!

- chris | 7/29/10 10:17 AM



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