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Vandals smash Pasadena woman's award-winning pumpkins

September 1, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
When Mae Powell woke up Friday morning, she found nearly a year's worth of pumpkin-growing obliterated and strewn across her front yard. She is now offering a reward to anyone who can help find the vandals responsible.

Authorities say the incident happened either late Thursday night or early Friday morning in the 800 block of Gainsborough Drive in Pasadena. Half a dozen of Powell's pumpkins had been destroyed.

"I was furious, I was so mad that anybody would do this," she said. "I mean, we're all neighbors here, they all love my pumpkins, they come by and they say, 'You know, we want to grow big pumpkins like that,' and people come by all the time."

Powell is an award-winning pumpkin grower who planned to enter one of the pumpkins, which weighed nearly 400 pounds, in an upcoming contest. That pumpkin had umbrellas stuck in it. On Saturday, Powell and a helper tried to patch up the holes left by the umbrellas before the pumpkin rots.

Powell doesn't just grow the pumpkins for competition's sake. Instead, she donates the pumpkins to a children's garden, and her green thumb is also a delight to neighbors, who are now outraged by the incident.

"I was so extremely angry and then I go and talk to her and she is crying," said neighbor Yuny Parada. "I was also very sad, but angry because why would somebody do this?"

Despite the destruction, Powell says she will continue to grow her impressive pumpkins because she knows it makes her neighbors happy.

Powell is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the capture of the people or person responsible. Anyone with information is asked to call the Temple City Sheriff's Station at (626) 285-7171.


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