$20K worth of equipment stolen from Elkhart's Wellfield Botanic Gardens

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ELKHART, Ind. (WNDU) - Police are looking for the alleged thieves who stole more than $20,000 worth of equipment from Wellfield Botanic Gardens in Elkhart.

Officials say it happened between New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. Someone allegedly broke into the gardens' supply garage, taking three golf carts, a power utility vehicle, and several gardening and power tools, among other items.

The staff told 16 News Now Monday that the theft is putting not only them behind but the community as well.

"This is a community institution, and so when you are stealing from us, you are stealing ultimately from them, because it limits our capacity," facility manager Josh Steffan said. "It sets us back in doing what we do for the community and what we offer the community – a safe, beautiful place that's restful and peaceful for people to come and enjoy."

Wellfield Botanic Gardens says it plans to step up on-site security and will add additional security cameras to prevent this from happening again.

The organization is accepting monetary donations to help replace the stolen equipment.