The call came, fittingly, on the midnight watch, around 1:40 a.m. to be more precise.
Pumpkin rustlers were stealing Halloween decorations in a subdivision of the St. Louis suburb of Maryland Heights, Mo.
As police officers responded to the report, another call came in.
More decorations had disappeared in yet another subdivision.
Halloween bandits were afoot.
One of the victims provided the police dispatcher with a description of a vehicle leaving the area of the thefts.
Sgt. Jamie White of the Maryland Heights Police Department stopped a vehicle matching the description. Three suspects - and 49 pumpkins - were inside.
The suspects were busted, the pumpkins were not.
The police decided to help homeowners identify their missing gourds. So they posed the pumpkins in a lineup.
That lineup and this Halloween tale popped up on the Facebook page of the Maryland Heights Police Officers Association on Wednesday.
If you see your pumpkin here, the post said, call us.
“I think that’s Bob, the seventh in from the right. I don’t know his last name,” commented one woman.
Mine was “about 6.5 inches tall orange,” wrote another man.
“Does everyone have to come and ID their pumpkin?” asked one woman.
“Is that Grand Theft Pumpkin,” someone else wanted to know.
Residents applauded their local police for their swift action in smashing this pumpkin operation.
“Nice work catching the perps!! They sound like they were out of their gourd to try such a heist!” wrote one man. “No getting away with that in our town!!”