The theft of two ancient bonsai trees from a Washington state museum took an unexpected turn when the trees were mysteriously returned two days after they went missing.
How They Went Missing
On February 9th, staffers at the Pacific Bonsai Museum in Federal Way, Washington were shocked to discover a pair of 70-year-old bonsai trees had been stolen from the facility. The pair were considered priceless not only for their species, but also for their rich history. One of the trees was a Japanese Black Pine that was “born” in a World War II internment camp by a Japanese-American man who was incarcerated there. He used a tin can to grow the tree.
What Happened After the Theft?
The museum was quick to go on social media and ask people for information about the trees’ whereabouts. Aarin Packard, the curator of the museum, said that if the trees don’t get the necessary care (which they have received for the last seven decades), they will perish. This is what their message looked like:
There Was a Happy End
Less than 72 hours since their initial post on Facebook, security guards at the museum found the stolen pair of bonsai trees on the roadside. Despite some minor broken branches on one of the trees, the bonsai trees were in good condition. After their mysterious return, the trees were taken care of, some of the broken branches were repaired, and the trees were put back on display. Museum staffers announced the happy news on February 12th.
Since the strange heist took place, people started making online donations to the facility to help the museum safeguard their treasured bonsai collection so no more trees go missing. As a result, the museum officials have announced their plans to install an updated security system funded by these donations.