Milwaukee community garden theft; thousands of dollars worth of equipment stolen

A local nonprofit is looking for help after thousands of dollars worth of equipment was stolen from its garden shed.

It's a moment that HeartLove Place program coordinator Portia Whipps still can't wrap her mind around.

"I'm like oh my goodness no, no, no open it up and all the equipment was gone," Whipps said. "Lawnmowers, trimmers, edgers. We had a tiller, anything that will keep this garden beautiful we had it, and it's gone."

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The HeartLove Place coordinator said the locks were forcefully pulled out and a small window in the back was busted. The only remaining item inside was a wheelbarrow.

Portia Whipps

"Probably $2,000, $2,000 to $3,000, because all that equipment, it added up," Whipps said.

She said nothing like this has happened before in the two years since the shed was installed. 

HeartLove Place grows fresh produce in an area Whipps said is considered a food desert.

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"We grow vegetables, fruits, we have trees over there, cherry trees, plum, apples, so everything in here has a purpose," she said. "It’s all for the community."

She said they have filed a police report and the theft remains under investigation – and that they are going to recover.

"It’s not just about us," Whipps said. "It’s for the whole community."