Seiji Iimura

Japanese bonsai tree owners robbed of $118,000 worth of trees just want thieves to water them

Who steals someones bonsai tree? That’s just cold

Some no-good thieves stole seven bonsai trees worth $118,000 from a Japanese couple in the Saitama prefecture near Tokyo Japan. The couple would like their bonsai trees back but if they can’t be returned all they’re asking the thieves is to take care and water them so that the trees don’t die. Fuyumi Iimura, the wife of bonsai master, Seiji Iimura, 54, told CNN that “We treated these miniature trees like our children. There are no words to describe how we feel. It’s like having your limbs lopped off.”

The robbery took place over a series of nights last month and Iimura believes it was done by professionals. This is due to the thieves picking out the rarest of the Bonsai trees out of the 3000 trees there. The most valuable was the shimpaku which goes for over $90,000. Along with that prize possession, three miniature pine trees and a trio of less expensive shimpaku were stolen.

Seiji Iimura noticed the trees missing when he went for a walk in his garden and noticed four pots missing, according to Asahi Shimbun. Iimura has always had an open policy to his garden as he let the public enjoy the bonsai trees. Anyone was free to walk in his bonsai farm for free to enjoy the beautiful trees. However, ever since the robbery, he has put up security cameras and plans to install a fence and a siren.

The police have not been helpful as they have not caught the thieves. Mr. Iimura describes his prized shimpaku tree as “priceless” according to the New York Times. He said that he has taken care of the 400-year-old plant for the last 25 years and he hopes the media attention will force the thieves to return it. But this story might not have a happy ending as there is a lucrative black market for the trees. If he can’t get his trees back he pleaded to the thieves to at least water them as the trees can’t live without being watered once a week. “I want whoever took the bonsais to make sure they are watered. The shimpaku lived for 400 years. It needs care and can’t survive a week without water,” Iimura told CNN. “They can live forever, even after we’re gone if they receive the proper care.”

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