These gnomes have quite the methology.
New Zealand authorities uncovered a stash of over 300 garden ornaments that they believe is connected to the sale of methamphetamine.
While accompanying a utility worker to disconnect power from a house with $10,000 in unpaid bills, Hawke’s Bay police realized that some of the outdoor items such as garden gnomes, fake pink flamingos and other statues had been recently declared missing, Stuff.co.nz reports.
“It was obvious straight away they were stolen. We were aware of the issue. It seems to be the fashion at the moment,” said Sgt. Cam Donnison. “They are taking these items to hock off for methamphetamine — it’s all meth driven.”
Apparently even large potted plant can catch fetch $215 for someone needing to fuel a meth habit.
“This is certainly organized and targeted burglaries to steal items which are worth quite a bit of money,” said Donnison. “The perpetrators are stealing them to get rid of them easily, and quickly satisfy their methamphetamine addictions.”
While it’s not clear yet whether the homeowner had been receiving the diminutive decorations as payment or if they were amassing them for a sale, Donnison noted that the suspect must have been at least partially aware of the illicit nature of the gnomes since some had been painted.
For now, detectives will be working to restore the tiny trinkets to their rightful owners.