Posted Thursday, May 29, 2014 -- 10:00 p.m.
Students at St. Patrick's School in Janesville couldn't believe what they saw when they came to school Thursday morning.
"I feel like they just kind of got a slap," said Trish Koch, who is a math teacher at the school.
"They got here today and the plants were gone."
Students and volunteers at the school had started a garden to grow vegetables in for the House of Mercy homeless shelter across the street.
The plants had just been planted last Sunday -- but when the students got to school Thursday morning, they were all gone.
"We had all three different kinds of peppers; we had green peppers, yellow peppers, tomatoes... cucumbers," Koch explained.
She said the doors were locked and the only way someone could have gained access to the garden is by jumping the fence.
Erin Loveland, who runs the House of Mercy homeless shelter, says she is disappointed in many ways.
"I'm disappointed for the kids, as a parent at this school, and I'm also disappointed for the residents."
Now Loveland, Koch and everyone else involved is left clueless.
All that was left behind are a few footprints -- not a single plant.
"Stealing is unfortunate and senseless and it's just not necessary," Loveland said.
The school hasn't contacted the police, and is now facing the challenge of rebuilding -- a challenge that, for a private school that relies of tuition and donations, will be a tough one.
"I'm really angry about it because I feel like the school was trying to teach something to our students to be able to do something good for the community and then it's gone," Koch said.
The school is of course accepting any sort of donations that will help.
St. Patrick's Catholic School
305 Lincoln Street
Janesville, WI 53548