Thief held for stealing mini Albert Heijn vegetable garden giveaways

Albert Heijn's mini vegetable garden kits (Photo: @heijmans159/Twitter)Albert Heijn's mini vegetable garden kits (Photo: @heijmans159/Twitter)

With reporting by Janene Pieters.

A suspected burglar was arrested early Saturday morning after breaking into an Albert Heijn store in Nijmegen and stealing four dozen mini vegetable garden kits, the police there reported on Sunday. The popular kits are given away as a promotion to paying customers.

At the grocery store location on the Molenweg in Nijmegen, police caught up with the man sometime in either the late night hours of March 11 or the early morning hours of March 12. The burglary suspect vehemently resisted arrest, and refused to follow instructions from officers, the arrest report said. A police dog was deployed, and the suspect surrendered after the dog bit him.

Once he gave up, police found the produce kits, as well as a box of small plastic planting pots that can be used once the plants grow larger.

For every 15 euros they spend, Albert Heijn customers get a free tiny cardboard pot, planting soil, and seeds so they can start their own produce gardens at home. The giveaway was extremely popular when the supermarket chain ran the promotion for the first time in early 2015, with stores handing out roughly 44 million small gardens.

Supermarket customers taking part in the 2016 promotion have a chance to grow one of 20 different items, including basil, broccoli, carrot, cherry tomatoes, courgette, cucumber, endive, fennel, gherkin, green beans, garden cress, mixed greens, parsley, peapods, radish, red beats, rucola, spinach, thyme and watermelon. The promotion began on March 7, and is scheduled to end on April 3.