Former landscaper caught scaling fence in Forest Grove

Despite security-tape footage showing a thin, young, blond woman taking flowers from the pots outside Forest Fresh Laundry the day before Mother’s Day, the person Forest Grove police arrested last Thursday in connection with flower thefts is a 48-year-old former landscaper named Barry John Foster.

“We do not believe this was specifically related to Mother’s Day, but can’t absolutely rule out Foster’s involvement in other thefts that occurred around town,” said Capt. Mike Herb.

About a week after a May 22 News-Times story about the flower theft recorded on the Forest Fresh security tape, eight people called police to report thefts of flowers, flower pots or landscape lights in the south and southeast areas of town, Herb said.

On May 29, Foster was caught scaling a fence on the 1800 block of Poplar Street. One of the theft reports had come from the property he was attempting to enter.

Foster, a Forest Grove resident, was initially cited for trespassing. The following day, May 30, the homeowner noticed flower pots missing and police completed a separate burglary investigation, at which point they arrested Foster for theft, burglary and criminal trespass.

The burglary charge is connected to a break-in at a home in the 2300 block of 18th Avenue in March.

Foster was jailed and was still in custody as of Tuesday morning. His next court appointment is a preliminary hearing Friday, June 7.

“Foster did confess to taking flower pots,” said Herb, who wouldn’t comment further because of the continuing investigation.

In addition to calls related to recent thefts, another person called police to report yet another theft from back on Mother’s Day 2012, which occurred in the 2300 block of 15th Avenue.

“It is unknown if Foster is connected to the woman observed on video stealing plants from the Forest Fresh Laundry or if he is connected to the theft of flowers from the cemetery,” said Herb. “These could be unrelated cases.”

Since Foster’s arrest, there have been no reported flower or flower pot thefts.

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