Roane County man accused of stealing plants and yard ornaments

KINGSTON, Tenn. (WVLT) -- It all happened around midnight on Friday. Gwen Smith said she saw strange lights shining through her window.

"I look out and there's a man, right in front of the picture window and he's got on a cap with little flashlights on the top," said Smith.

Smith called 911.

"I told her, 'There's a man out there lifting something in the yard. He's moving things around and I don't know what he's doing,'" she said.

When deputies showed up, Kevin Limburg started walking towards them, explaining he'd lost his lighter and was looking for it. Deputies noticed several uprooted plants in his truck, and then saw a pile of plants near the concrete silo in Smith's yard. They asked Smith if any of the plants were hers:

"Well, it was my mums, he had pulled those up. I had some lillies, he had pulled those up. I had some coneflowers, he got those. I had two scraggly, old rhododendrons in the back and he had yanked those up," said Smith.

And that's not all:

"There was my bird bath - two big, heavy pieces of concrete, the windchimes that hang on the door there," she said.

Even her small yard statue was in the pile.

"I have no idea what his plan was," said Smith.

Smith said the other uprooted plants and yard ornaments found in Limburg's truck weren't hers. We don't know who they belong to. According to the report, deputies found several text messages on Limburg's phone regarding providing people with plants and shrubs. Deputies said it's not common, but people do steal plants - although they're not sure what they do with them afterwards.

Smith said she never expected she'd have to protect her plants, but she's now looking into buying an outside security system. She wants one with motion sensitive lights and cameras.

Aside from theft and vandalism, Limburg is also facing several drug charges because deputies found marijuana and other drug paraphernalia in his truck. He's due in court on September 15.


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