There is a thief targeting homes in Hartford’s West End neighborhood and he's stealing a very unusual item.
For the few past weeks, patio umbrellas have been disappearing from backyards and even restaurants.
When Patricia Power noticed her patio umbrella was gone from her backyard, she assumed her husband had put it away for the season.
“Because he usually does this time of year, and he said ‘no’ and I said ‘uh oh’,” Power said.
That's when it dawned on her that they had been hit by the ‘west end patio umbrella bandit.’
"(We) had been seeing on Facebook that a number of umbrellas in the West End had been stolen, so I immediately went online and I reported it to my Facebook friends that the umbrella thief had hit again,” Power said. “As I’m looking through the Facebook page, I saw a picture that somebody had taken of a fellow walking down Sisson Avenue with a shopping cart and he had a whole bunch umbrellas in the cart.”
Nancy Boone also saw the man with the shopping cart full of patio umbrellas, but in person, a few weeks ago.
"We see some unusual things, but that was a first," Boone said.
The thief also hit the Half Door bar on Sisson Avenue on Tuesday, snatching one of their umbrellas in broad daylight.
People in the neighborhood have some theories as to what he is doing with them.
"He is perhaps building a multi-wing shelter that it's part of an art exhibit installation and we are going to find later and we are going to be invited or perhaps a practical joke,” said Power, who wasn’t laughing when she realized the umbrella wasn’t the only thing the thief took from her.
"I looked closer and I saw some pictures that I had been storing in the back in a garden room off my garage and I realized that those are paintings that he has took,” she said.
So she called the police.
"They told me that he is probably homeless and this is what they do this time of year, they take umbrellas and rugs for their shelters…so what was I going to do? What were the police going to do? Not much,” Power said.
She said the umbrella was old and she doesn’t really care if she gets it back, but she would like her paintings.
Anyone with information should contact Hartford police.
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