Airport Heights woman has almost a dozen garden gnomes supposedly stolen

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Kate Sortino didn’t lose a bike, car or purse.

She said she’s had about a dozen garden gnomes stolen.

Sortino lives in the Airport Heights neighborhood with her roommate and friend, Matt Burgoon. More than a year ago, Burgoon bought about a dozen garden gnomes from Walmart.

He hid a bunch of them in Sortino's yard and faced them toward her front door.

“And I opened my door,” Sortino said. “I literally screamed, it was terrifying.”

Even though the gnomes may have been a bit haunting at first, they have since grown on her and the neighborhood.

“People loved it,” she said. “They thought it was so charming. Every single day, we’d be making eggs in the kitchen or something and they would be walking by, taking pictures. And they would laugh.”

But about a month ago, a friend notified her that a photo was posted to the neighborhood watch Facebook group of a woman making off with her gnomes.

“There was a picture of a girl, carrying the gnomes to an SUV,” she said. Sortino said they took most of the gnomes.

Two weeks later, Sortino said all the gnomes but one were gone.

“Enjoy those gnomes,” Burgoon said when asked if he had a message to the person who allegedly took them. “But if you could give me back two or three of them, it just looks weird with just one of them. It needs a friend.”

The lone gnome has yet to be named.

Whether it’s a garden gnome or a bike, you can report crimes of thefts to the Anchorage Police Department.

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