Jim Kemp tends to the gardens in Loring Park and recently noticed the mysterious disappearance of about a dozen plants from a small triangular-shaped garden in the park's southwestern corner.
Kemp, a volunteer with the Friends of Loring Park who weeds and waters the park's gardens three times a week, spoke with a touch of sadness when he pointed out the gaping holes in the small dirt patch next to a park bench.
Someone swiped two red rose bushes, two coleas (red ornamental-leafed plants) and six marigold plants.
Kemp reported the theft to the Park Police.
"I was very sad. This is the second time it's happened. It happened last year when they took one rose bush. The Park Board very graciously bought another one later in the summer and we got it put in," said Kemp, who lives at Summit House, 400 Groveland Ave.
The volunteer gardener said the plants have a public value.
He said, "Part of me says, 'Well, it is an urban garden,' but I just wish people could enjoy them in the park instead of taking them somewhere else."
Anyone with information on the crime is encouraged to call the Park Police at 370-4777.