Thursday, March 23, 2023

Pumpkin thefts in Bailey Neighborhood leave parents angry and children upset

October 28, 2022
Pumkins on a porch on Halloween in East Lansing, October 31, 2020.
Pumkins on a porch on Halloween in East Lansing, October 31, 2020. —
Photo by Lauren Snyder | The State News

As Halloween approaches, monsters of the night have begun coming out – this time targeting Bailey Neighborhood pumpkins.

A report of stolen pumpkins in the Bailey area was posted on the community Facebook group “Bailey Neighbors and Friends, East Lansing” on Oct. 19.

Multiple pumpkin thieves were caught on Ring security cameras, along with said thieves being confronted in-person by neighborhood residents.

Bailey Neighborhood resident Betty Wescott Brown said her children were disappointed after coming home to all of their pumpkins being stolen after only having them for a week. 

“Those college kids stole the Halloween spirit from us,” Wescott Brown’s son, Will, said.

The Facebook post also alleged the stolen pumpkins were part of a fraternity initiation. However, East Lansing Police Department does not believe the incidents were fraternity-related.

“It would not be proper to report that this is a fraternity-related incident,” ELPD Capt. Chad Pride said. “The investigation is obviously still open, we’re still waiting on more information from our detectives … (We're) hoping to come up with individuals who are involved and hold them accountable.”

In an email statement to The State News, ShirDonna Lawrence, Michigan State University’s director of fraternity and sorority life, said that the office is working with appropriate on-and-off campus entities to determine who may be responsible for the stolen pumpkins.

Stealing pumpkins or other Halloween decorations is larceny, Pride said. The owners of the stolen items can decide whether they would like to pursue charges against the thieves.

As for Wescott Brown, she believes there are ways to make things right, such as replacing the pumpkins.

"(The thieves) didn’t quite think it through all the way as far as in who they were going to really impact,” Wescott Brown said. “That they were gonna really impact kids more so than parents.“

Pride said those who want to protect their pumpkins and decor should bring them inside.

If you have any information regarding these incidents, contact Lawrence at or ELPD officer Jacey Kingsbury at (517)-319-6897.

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