Produce pilferer hits Port Moody museum

Veggies stolen from station's heritage garden for fourth time this year

A produce pilferer has plundered the Port Moody Station Museum's heritage garden four times this year.

"It is extremely frustrating," said the museum's executive director Jim Millar, who added this year's thefts are on top of several others last year. "I'm determined to catch these people."

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Millar said he has reported every incident to Port Moody police but no celery stalker, beet burglar or radish rustler has been apprehended so far. Postings to social media indicated a security camera showed two people absconding with the veggies and taking off in a vehicle. Although Millar said other community gardens in the area have also been victims of a veggie snatcher, Coquitlam RCMP said they could not find any files for community garden thefts.

The garden's produce consists mostly of older varieties such as zuke melons, scimitar peas and quince, said Millar. In this latest produce plundering they picked some quince which Millar said won't be ready for eating for another six weeks. They also pulled a dozen flower plants out by their roots and didn't dig them out.

Although the station did not have a garden back in the day, many stations along the Canadian Pacific Railway did. Millar said they served two purposes. The first was to help feed the workers who also lived at the station, and they helped to convince potential homesteaders that the town was a good place to set down roots. 

The society that runs Port Moody Station Museum decided to build the garden in 2001 to honour that part of the railway's past.

"I do make my lunch out of it every day," said Millar.

He added although the non-profit society sells some of the produce to raise money, some of it is sent to the food bank run by Share Family and Community Services or passed on to schools to show kids how things grow.

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