The purloined pumpkin was returned safely - it was found on the front wall of the house next door. But then, we came home from dinner last night to this gruesome scene.
Perhaps the kidnapping of the other pumpkin was a red herring meant to distract attention from which pumpkin was really in danger?
Unfortunately, the corpse had been moved, no doubt destroying vital evidence, by the time I investigated. I was only informed of the situation belatedly, when we were out for dinner, and the Technical Staff realized that he'd forgotten to mention seeing a pumpkin smashed in front of the house as he drove by. By the time we got home again, someone had replaced it on the retaining wall.