Mad Digger Arrested

PUBLISHED: 9:39 PM 16 May 2018

Woman Arrested After Digging Up 300 Plants

The motive is unknown.

A felony for flowers? That is how this crime may end.

KDVR News reports that in Greeley, Colorado, and 59-year-old Catherine Louise Birnstiehl was placed under arrest after her crime shocked the community. Her act was no “garden” variety vandalism.

She “was caught on camera digging up hundreds of newly planted flowers and plants and tossing them onto the ground to die” for no reason whatsoever. It was around “2 a.m. on Monday morning” that the senseless crime took place. This criminal mischief is part of a history with this suspect. She has been a frequent moocher and burglar.

At midnight it was fine. At 6 in the morning there were plants all over,” observed Jeff Dyke, a resident who lives not far from where the botanic disaster took place.

Greeley is blessed to have “city planters” which are large cement pots that display very eye pleasing floral arrangements for everyone to behold. Around 300 of those arrangements were thrown on the ground and the cost is said to be about $1500.

Birnstiehl is now looking at “felony criminal mischief charges” for her actions and this defacement is not the only crime that the culprit has faced, either. Last March, she was taken into custody “for allegedly hiding out in two downtown businesses, Batter-Up Cakes and the Moxi Theater.”

The flower destroyer and another worker “waited for employees to leave so they could consume alcohol and eat baked goods,” according to police reports.

I think it’s bizarre,” admitted Danielle Noffsinger, a worker at Mariposa Flowers. “I work at a plant shop so I love plants. It’s heartbreaking. I know it’s a lot of work.

The good news is that many of the flowers were replanted but no one knows if they will survive the trauma. Already, nearly 70 of the plants had to be thrown away because they could not be saved.

As for the ones that did get replanted, “Hopefully they’ll recover. They’ll probably put some more in and help them along,” said Noffsinger.

That means that the plants have more going for them than Birnstiehl does, since it can not be imagined that anyone in Greeley wants to help her along with anything other than a jail sentence.