Garden center owner's tractor stolen as he shutters decades-old business in Happy Valley

Stolen tractor - Image from Richard Barhoum

These past few weeks have been bittersweet for Richard Barhoum, the owner of George's Garden Center in Happy Valley.

After 69 years in business - 50 of which Barhoum has run himself - the garden center is closing its doors for good.

“A lot of them are sad that I’m leaving, but when you get tired, you retire,” Barhoum said.

On Saturday morning, Barhoum got a call from his neighbor.

“My neighbor called, she said your gate is wide open, you’re not here, so something is wrong,” Barhoum said.

In his gut, he knew.

“I had a hunch that it was the tractor, there really is nothing of value left,” Barhoum said.

And while it may just seem like just a tractor to others, this tractor was important to Barhoum, his grandson, and their whole family.

“It’s been a good tractor. [It] has a lot of sentimental value in it, more than the monetary value. For that reason I want it back, because of my grandkids,” Barhoum said.

They've owned it for 13 years, and his grandkids made it their own.

“They even engraved their initials on it. If you look at the right side of the bucket you will see ‘RJ’ in red, they did it themselves,” Barhoum said.

Now as he prepares for retirement, he hopes the community he loves will help him out one more time.

“To go out on a loss like - that’s just an empty sinking feeling,” Barhoum said.

If you see the Green John Deer with an Orange Tiller and initials engraved on the side you are asked to call police.

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