Nearly 80 stolen garden gnomes discovered in central France
11/3/2006 2:21 PM ET
LIMOGES, France (AFP) — Some 79 garden gnomes snatched by a so-called gnome liberation group, were discovered Wednesday along the banks of a stream in the central Limousin region, police said.
The gnomes were hidden in some underbrush with a banner that read, "gnome mistreated, gnome liberated", police said.
A national garden gnome liberation operation was announced on the group's website in honor of the Nov. 1 French holiday, All Saint's Day.
Last month 86 gnomes were found in the yard of a Limoges high school. Others, stolen last summer, were discovered along the edge of a swimming pool on the outskirts of the city.
"Because of the heat wave, they wanted to get some air," read a letter that appeared in gnome owners' mailboxes.
According to the group's website, the Front for the Liberation of Garden Gnomes (FLNJ) has about 100 active members throughout France, as well as in Canada, Germany, Spain, and the United States.
One of the gnomes managed to get into mischief, however . . .
A 14-inch gnome was stolen from a Morgantown, W.Va. home. A few days later, the owner received this and two other pictures with a letter that read: "Please bail me out of jail Uncle Allen. Send money to the PA state penitentiary. Gnomey. P.S. Sorry I left home but I wanted to see the world and now I'm in trouble." (Pictured in above mugshot)