Pumpkin Lineup

Maryland Heights Police Officer Association/Facebook

Police use lineup photo to help residents identify stolen pumpkins

The culprits were caught orange-handed.


Tess Cagle

Internet Culture

Posted on Oct 27, 2017   Updated on May 22, 2021, 1:04 pm CDT

Three teenagers in Maryland Heights, Missouri, were caught this week pumpkin-napping four dozen squash from their neighborhood.

Reports from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch said as soon as the pumpkins began to vanish, police were on the case to find the lost squash and return them home, safely.

Police said when they found the culprits, they had 48 pumpkins—and one gourd—crammed inside their SUV, which was “top-to-bottom orange.”

In an effort to ensure every pumpkin made it home in time for Hallow’s Eve, police posted a photo to Facebook of all the stolen decor lined up along the wall.

“I have attached a picture of a pumpkin line up,”Officer Erica Stough wrote. “If you woke up this morning to missing pumpkins, please contact me.”


St. Louis residents take their festive decor very seriously. One resident even shared surveillance footage of the pumpkin-nappers caught in the act.


Police said after the post, they were “inundated” with residents showing up to claim their pumpkins, with many knowing which was theirs by sight.

Now Maryland Heights neighbors have claimed all but a remaining dozen pumpkins in time for the Halloween weekend.

Of course, Twitter users took the news as an opportunity to share some pun-kins.


It remains unclear if the teens responsible intended their theft to be a trick for their neighbors or a treat for themselves. Regardless of their motive, their actions have consequences.

Two of the culprits were 18 and were therefore charged with misdemeanor stealing. The third pumpkin thief was a 16-year-old and has been referred to juvenile court.

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*First Published: Oct 27, 2017, 10:26 am CDT