Thieves: Sorry lady, we took one of your gnomes

(WANE Photo)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Two thieves in Fort Wayne had a change of heart Tuesday morning. After stealing an expensive lawn ornament from a woman’s yard, they have returned it to her and apologized.

Some people may think a story on a missing gnome is ridiculous, but it’s not. It’s the principle one woman wanted to teach two young men: you don’t take people’s belongings no matter how expensive or inexpensive they are. On top of that, it made Ellen Goeglein and her husband live in fear.

“Are they going to come in the door next? Because they are only a few feet away,” Goeglein explained.

Questions like that crossed Ellen Goeglein’s mind as she talked with us on camera Monday night. A scary reality she and her husband feared.

Ellen says because of the story we aired, the two young men caught on camera returned one of the stolen gnomes Tuesday morning.

“Oh, it means a lot. It means that someone has a conscious and they brought it back.”

As for the second custom-made 70 pound gnome from Atlanta that’s still missing, she hasn’t the slightest clue who took that one.

“Oh, I’d cut my loses. But if he showed up I would be happy.”

Ellen says the two also fessed up to trying to take the Goeglein’s third gnome over the weekend. Something they say they won’t do again.

“That’s all I really wanted. If they would had just said ‘Can I have it?’ I probably would had given it to them. There are a lot of people who probably wouldn’t had given the gnome back. These two were good young men who brought it back.”

It meant a lot to Ellen that the two brought the gnome back and genuinely apologized. She hopes other pranksters out there will learn a lesson from this story and think twice before messing with peoples’ property.

By the way, the two young men told Ellen they would pay for the bird bath they knocked over and broke while trying to get away with one of the gnomes Saturday morning. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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