Crime

Woman arrested in connection with Sandy’s Back Porch nursery thefts

Suspect caught on video as string of overnight thefts hit garden stores

Sandy Richter, owner of the plant nursery in Belleville on West Boulevard, posted a series of videos on Tuesday night. The videos appear to show a woman, wearing a ball cap with a headlamp over the brim, taking plants and bags of soil.
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Sandy Richter, owner of the plant nursery in Belleville on West Boulevard, posted a series of videos on Tuesday night. The videos appear to show a woman, wearing a ball cap with a headlamp over the brim, taking plants and bags of soil.

Police have arrested a 46-year-old woman in connection with multiple overnight thefts caught on video at Sandy’s Back Porch, a plant nursery near Belleville.

Tara R. King, of Fairview Heights, has been charged with one count of retail theft over $300, a news release from the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department said.

King was arrested at her home in the 9000 block of Bunkum Road on Sunday after a witness spotted her vehicle at Hindley Nursery Stone Yard in Godfrey and called police, the news release said. Items in her home, along with her physical description, matched the description of the suspect in the Sandy’s thefts.

Madison County prosecutors have charged her with criminal trespassing and damaging property in relation to the incident at Hindley Nursery Stone Yard.

Earlier this month, Sandy Richter, the owner of Sandy’s Back Porch, posted a series of videos from Aug. 22 in which a woman wearing a headlamp is seen taking plants and bags of soil from the business at 2004 West Blvd.

Richter said she appreciates all of her customers who shared the videos and all the investigators who worked on the case.

“I just want justice to be served,” Richter said. She added that’s she thrilled an arrest was made because she doesn’t want to have to worry about her plants when she’s not at the nursery.

Richter said she expects to get back at least one unique planter that was stolen.

Hana Muslic: 618-239-2626, @h_muslic
BND reporter Mike Koziatek contributed information to this article.
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