A Lower Hutt woman is bewildered and angry after thieves dug up and stole rose bushes from her garden in the dead of night.
One of the rose bushes swiped from Sue Kinnear's Waiwhetu garden was planted when she first moved into the house 30 years ago.
Kinnear was enjoying her garden on Friday night last week, but the next day discovered five of her beloved rose bushes had been carefully dug up and stolen.
The thieves appeared to have removed the plants in such a way as to disguise the fact they were missing, taking them from different parts of the garden and covering over the holes in the ground.
I can't understand how somebody can openly violate someone else's belongings.
Some of the plants were also taken out of her "memory garden", which she had set up in remembrance of her cats that had died.
"I can't explain how angry I was," Kinnear said.
"I spend hours on my garden. I work full time - it's my outlet for my stress."
The thieves would have been digging the plants up only 2m from her bedroom window as she slept on Friday night.
"I can't understand the audacity of somebody who would just come onto a property and take it. I can't understand how somebody can openly violate someone else's belongings."
She knew the theft was premeditated because not all of her plants were stolen - the only ones that were taken were pink and white roses.
"They chose a colour theme," she said.
"To me it feels like a person doing landscaping."
Kinnear had previously enjoyed sharing her garden with members of the public who could look at it over her low boundary wall as they went past in the street, but after the theft she would be building a fence to keep everyone out.
"It will only be for me now."
She won't be replanting anything to fill the gaps until the fence is built.
California Home and Garden Centre employee Kate said the plants would likely die, being dug up at this time of year.
The temperature was too hot and the ground was too dry for the roses to survive the shift, she said.
The Wellington District Police posted on Facebook saying there had been thefts of established rose bushes in the Waiwhetu and Moera areas.
"The offender is coming during the hours of darkness and digging them out, much to the property owners' dismay and distress.
"They are unlikely to survive being uprooted at this time of year.
"We would like to nip this in the bud. If you have any info, please contact Lower Hutt Police."