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Plant theft

suzieq77
15 years ago

I am so angry that I can hardly type this. Someone stole half of my roses (12) last night. It wasn't a dog digging them up--you can see the shovel marks, plus there aren't any rose bushes nearby.

This is the second time this has happened; the first was two years ago. Why would anyone be so hateful?

Comments (59)

  • cynthianovak
    15 years ago

    suzie
    I'm so sorry! There is nothing that leaves you feeling more vulnerable than a theft at home.

    My thought was a landscaper too! Well, someone who passes himself off as a landscaper. The best thing about neighborhood dogs is they bark when someone is messing around.

    Let's see, they probably came by foot and parked aways from your house, maybe someone noticed a truck or maybe there's a shady landscaper wannabe who lives nearby.

    Darn! I'm so sorry!

  • little_dani
    15 years ago

    I would hate to be carrying 12 rose bushes from where I stole them to where I parked the truck.

    I would keep an eye out for neighbors 'landscaping' their yards. Probably not your next door neighbors, but somebody who could come with a wagon, and get back home quickly.

    Gee, you hate to spend your whole life wondering if the people next door are thieves, but I guess it is natural.

    Put up some weather proof signs that say "SMILE for the camera". Or install surveillence cameras and don't say anything. Just catch them in the act.

    I am so sorry this happened. I would be hopping mad!

    This is when 'Mermaid' would earn it's keep. Plant her along the perimeter, she will guard all that is within your boundaries. And she would take care of interlopers too. They would only have to pass by, and she would reach out and capture them! I know, I owned a couple of them, and they captured me more than once!

    Good Luck!

    Janie

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  • pjtexgirl
    15 years ago

    I've heard of plant snatching but I noticed a few things about it that are different from most crimes.
    It usually happens in a nice area. Simi Valley,CA is very expensive. I was living there when my neighbor lost a couple nice roses. The stuff I've read on line and heard about was usually acompanied by,"this is normally a very quiet neighborhood". I had a TON of plants including 35 roses in my front yard in a really rough area and no one bothered a thing! They did try to break into my house a few times tho. PJ

  • prairiepaintbrush
    15 years ago

    Good night! I cannot imagine having the nerve to dig up plants - twelve plants! - and steal them. Good suggestions here. Since it's happened before, I think I would research cameras. I bet they are affordable since they're more common than they used to be. I'm so sorry. Keep us posted.

  • rick_mcdaniel
    15 years ago

    Welcome to the state of the human animal. Time to get a shot gun?

    A year or two ago, someone started missing plants, and a not too far away person in the neighborhood, was indentified through a hidden video camera set up, helping themselves to her plants, while she was at work.

    I like the shotgun idea better, but you might need to set up surveilance, when you aren't around.

    People have been found prowling our alley ways at night, looking for anything to steal, from open garages, unlocked cars, and so-on.

    I don't think we are to far away from the movie depiction of the "vigilante" series that featured Charles Bronson, as a potential reality.

  • carolann_z8
    15 years ago

    SuziQ, you have mail.

  • cynthianovak
    15 years ago

    Mermaid on the perimeter....or the Fairy! Let walk through that rose in the dark!

    BTW I had my car broken into in Dallas. I didn't have anyting of value in it but the stole my prescription sunglasses and distance vision glasses. I had to drive back to Arlington without them. Good thing I know what the signs say already.

    Rick I'm with you!

  • suzieq77
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    The Update:

    First, thank you so much for the kind words. DH is angrier than I am; he is thinking of waiting on the upstairs sleeping porch all night to catch him/her when he comes back for the rest.

    The house sits on a corner lot of a not too busy street, and yes, it is in a nice area. Yes, there is a landscaper nearby who was suspected in the first theft, but no proof. Yes, we have dogs--three who were snoozing soundly upstairs at the time of the crime. The Officer who took the report said it usually happens to newly landscaped businesses, so at least they thought enough of my plants to steal them.

    Our security company is coming to install motion activated camera on Friday--I think it is a 150 well spent; I am just peeved it is coming out of my plant budget.

    The only bright side is that I get to get 12 NEW roses. Think of the possiblities. Right now it is designed as a cutting garden, but I think I can use this opportunity to make it more landscaped.

  • Patrick888
    15 years ago

    (hi all...I'm a former Dallas resident & know a few folks who post here)

    Kinda makes you wish you had some kind of paint bomb "land mines" that would spray paint all over anyone digging around your roses!

    Speaking of paint, one might consider painting a wide band of paint (say, white or a bright color) around the main trunks, a foot or so above the ground. It wouldn't look pretty, but it would make it easy to spot the bushes if they turned up somewhere else...and it would probably deter theft in the first place.

    In my neighborhood, I can't have fences in front of my house so I do most of my gardening in the backyard - especially the more interesting/expensive plants. I don't want my front yard to draw more attention than my non-gardening neighbors' yards. I'm now into brugmansias & wouldn't dream of planting any in front of my house, even tho I live on a dead end street.

  • natvtxn
    15 years ago

    That makes my blood boil.
    Fall of 2005 I ordered Austin roses from Chamblee's. They arrived in wonderful shape and were really nice potted bushes. The amazing thing is that they cost $11.99 a bush.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Chamblee's

  • remuda1
    15 years ago

    "Kinda makes you wish you had some kind of paint bomb "land mines" that would spray paint all over anyone digging around your roses!"

    LOL, your comment made me think about the automatic sprinklers that are used to deter dear. They are motion sensitive. That would be a hoot for the next time they come back. They'd get a nice hosing for their trouble :). I bet you'd be able to hear them yell when they got drenched!

    Kristi

  • gabriell_gw
    15 years ago

    It makes me so sad to hear your news. Who would take the time to dig up 12 rose bushes? He must have nerves of steel to do that sort of thing.

    I've heard of plants in pots and hanging bsskets being stolen and taken to Canton.That would be done toward the end of the month. What a shame!

  • suzieq77
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    Again, thanks for all the support. You guys have made me laugh. I have decided it takes someone pretty desparate to steal someone's joy, but can you imagine being that desparate? I hope whomever it is is just trying to make a living and buys something for their family.

    BUT if s/he comes back--beware of buckshot!

    So, I am all excited about the Ft. Worth Exchange--perhaps I an find some new plants for my "new" bed. An aside to the person trying to email me my address is Halemary1 at that hotmail thingy (sorry for not spelling it out--I am trying to avoid spammers)

  • sylviatexas1
    15 years ago

    I don't have any grown-up rose bushes looking for homes, but I'll be happy to bring cuttings to the FW swap.

    I have:

    La Marque
    La Marne
    Graham Thomas
    Lavender Lassie
    Betty Prior
    Teasing Georgia
    Mermaid! (for those thief-catching thorns!)
    The Herbalist
    Pat Austin
    Seven Sisters
    Lady Banks yellow
    Rosette de Lize
    Mrs B R Cant
    Souvenir de la Malmaison
    Duchesse de Brabant
    Joseph's Coat
    Tradescant
    Demitasse
    Geoff Hamilton

    that *may* be all of 'em, I'm like the old woman in the shoe:
    I have so many roses I don't know what to do! (I bet she can't remember the names of all her children either...)

  • denisew
    15 years ago

    Wow, Sylvia! You do have a lot of roses!

    I have a friend in my garden club that had her irises whacked down while they were in bloom last year. It was right before our garden tour too. She was so P-O'd. She thinks it was her neighbor, but she didn't have proof. She also has a lot of roses and I'm sure she would feel the same way as you do if someone stole any of her "babies."

  • Bev__
    15 years ago

    I'm so sorry you had this happen to you....again. I hope whoever stole them gets an infection or worse from the thorns.
    I just found out today that the people that bought my previous home tore out and threw away all the roses (15-20 David Austins)and other perenials in one of the rose beds and poured cement in their bed to make another patio. Why didn't they offer them to me or another gardener. She's a newspaper reporter, she should have run an add for them.

  • eldo1960
    15 years ago

    You can't win. I live in a secluded area, and there has never been a plant stolen on my cul-de-sac, either from the ground or in a container.
    I often think, after all the work I go to to have a nice display of flowering or foliage plants, it would be nice to live in an area where there is more traffic so more people could potentially enjoy seeing my plants, including walkers. But the more exposure your landscape has, the more potential thieves can see it.
    Gardeners are in general such gentle, wholesome folk (right???) that it takes a real bum to rip plants out of their plantings (or steal their potplants).
    I bet these ARE pick-up "landscapers" (what an abused term!!!) who can charge their victims retail price, and tell them they are whatever rose the victim wants. They will be long gone before the roses prove to be whatever they are. Unmarked roses shouldn't bring much at flea markets and such unless they steal tags and tag them with whatever they happen to have. Even then, it hardly seems worth the risk of committing a crime to have to pot up a rose and sell it at a flea market for $5 or so.

  • bobbi_p
    15 years ago

    First of all greetings everyone. I've popped in a couple of times since moving last August, but haven't posted. Daffodils are in full bloom right now and I've got a family outing to the local RHS Wisley Gardens planned for this weekend.

    My first thought is: perhaps an admiring neighbor hired a landscaper and pointed out that they loved your roses and would love to copy them. Then, being pre-spring bloom and not knowing what to plant, the landscaper snagged yours for the quick and dirty way of making his/her customer happy. I imagine that a client in that situation would be appalled that the very garden he/she had admired had been destroyed for them!

    I'd do one more thing and post fliers in your neighborhood including along the bed that was destroyed: "Plant Thiefs are Working In This Area! 12 prized roses were dug from the ground (insert exact date here). Did you notice suspicious activity? Have you hired a landscaper to install roses lately? Any information, please call: (maybe best to put police number here)"

    How sad. Living in Texas, one of my proudest moments was when I looked out the window and saw a regular walker with her camera and tripod taking photos of my mailbox planter! I can't imagine someone digging them up!

  • jolanaweb
    15 years ago

    BOBBI, how are you ? Send us some pics from the UK
    Putting up flyers is an excellent idea. They could be eying other yards and that might deter that from happening and someone could have seen something but thought it was approved because it was so brazen
    jolana

  • denisew
    15 years ago

    Yep. That is what my friend did when her irises were vandalized last year. It didn't do any good for her. I think she knows it was probably a neighbor who was jealous of her gardening and decided to just chop them down.

    But, in this case maybe someone might have seen something and report it. You could distribute fliers on neighbors doors. Just don't put them in mailboxes since the post office won't like that.

    I have a large portion of my front yard landscaped and have quite a bit of traffic go by since my street is perpendicular with another that has a stop sign across from my house. I have never had any of my plants stolen, but did have someone who was walking by ask if they could have one of my four nerve daisies that was growing out of the sidewalk. I pulled it up for him, put it in a moist paper towel and also gave him another little baggie with seeds since I wasn't sure if that poor plant was going to survive. At least this guy asked instead of just taking.

  • pjtexgirl
    15 years ago

    Hi bobbi P!!!! Long time no hear!!PJ

  • prairiepaintbrush
    15 years ago

    Oooh, someone in the UK. What is it like to live there?

    I like the idea of flyers. At least maybe the thieves will see them and move on. Brazen is a good word - could this have been done during the day? No one would think it was theft if they were digging them up in plain sight. Boy, that really bites.

  • beachplant
    15 years ago

    Unfortunately it happens a lot. Usually to new plantings or rare/expensive stuff. Especially in California & Arizona with the cacti & palms. One guy had a bunch of stuff stolen after his yard was on a garden tour a couple of years ago.
    I've had small stuff, cacti, african daisies, etc. stolen, just pulled out of the ground! I caught one lady with clippers! in my front yard one day, when I yelled at her she told me "Oh, it's OK!". I went after her with a shovel and she moved her @$$ quickly down the street! Haven't seen her since. Caught the guy that lives around the corner with his GRANDDAUGHTER! They had pulled up the kale from one of the front beds and were carrying them down the street when I drove up. I stopped, jumped up & yelled at him, told him he was a thief and was teaching his granddaughter to be a thief too! He threw the plants at me, I put them back and one is still going strong-2 years later. His excuse? They were just growing there!
    I like the flyer idea and the shotgun idea, the shotgun idea the best.
    Tally HO!

  • pjtexgirl
    15 years ago

    It's good to know Kale is a plant that just jumps up in your garden by magic! And that stealing is "OK!". Not! Freaks!
    I have dogs that deter people. Even tho they aren't in the front they tell me if someone is. It's not a perfect system but so far my house(thanks my good girls!) and my garden have been left alone. It's a shame you have to put up with this at any rate!PJ

  • kentuck_8b
    15 years ago

    I have a homemade security system setup around my house, but the best gadget is my wildlife camera. It blends in with the surroundings, can be hung or hidden anywhere, and can store hundreds of photos.

    It works off batteries, or solar panel, depending on the model. It has a flash if you need to use one, can take pictures in low light, and is motion sensitive to trigger the camera.

    Well worth the money, a good one starting at about $60. You also can catch wildlife, or see what been stealing you dog or cat's food, or even see what has been digging up your garden.

    Good Luck

    Kt

  • jolanaweb
    15 years ago

    Hi Kt, that's what I told DH and son I want for my birthday

  • kentuck_8b
    15 years ago

    Hello Jo, yep, they make excellent gifts. Mine will even take videos. The still photos can be taken up to three at a time, once the motion sensor has been triggered.

    Mine are all older models. I have seen some of the newer ones that are lower priced and do much more.

    Hope you get one for your birthday.

    Kt

  • carrie751
    15 years ago

    Very interesting!!! May have to have one of these BEFORE my next birthday.

  • prairiepaintbrush
    15 years ago

    Beachplant, reading your post my mouth fell open and I said, "Oh my God!" several times. I CANNOT believe that people could be so bold and so ... I mean stealing PLANTS! What on earth for? I can see stealing money, I can see stealing food, but PLANTS??? From a neighbor's yard??? What, you're going to plant it in your yard and admire it every day thinking, "Yup, that's the plant I stole from that guy!" How could you not feel awful every time you looked at it? Ugh, this post is getting to me.

  • pjtexgirl
    15 years ago

    I want a wildlife camera too! You've started a trend. That would be a great way to get pictures as well.PJ

  • carrie751
    15 years ago

    That is what I am thinking, PJ. I want to set one where the birds feed, and maybe I can get a decent shot of my male painted bunting.

  • Jacquelyn8b
    15 years ago

    That would make an excellent gift for my DH on Father's Day.
    That man loves his birds!
    Carrie, have you ever seen your painted buntings at a feeder? Ours have only been spotted eating seed off the plants.
    We put short-ish sunflowers under the southern windows last year and enjoyed quite a show!

    My father in law, who lives in The Woodlands, doesn't put potted plants out on his front porch anymore because of thieves.
    Last spring my mom had a discussion with a young man that lived down the street. He really liked her pinkish-white cabbage and asked if he could have it! She told him no, but she'd make sure he got one the next season. She did, too. Making new gardeners wherever she goes!

  • carrie751
    15 years ago

    Yes, Jac, I see them at my feeders, but all my photos are blurry or with him on the other side of the feeder. The females are not quite as skittish, and they have been singing to me while I work. They have a beautiful song.

  • sylviatexas1
    15 years ago

    It used to shock me that people would steal from neighbors, from plant swaps, from garage sales, but it usually doesn't even surprise me any more.

    Many people are like weeds, opportunistic:
    If they want what you have & they can get it, they'll steal it!

    & some of them, I think, have some sort of pathology:
    they just *have* to get the better of someone else.

    People like the neighbor who cut down the iris, although they haven't created/achieved/accomplished anything *because they've sat on their behinds*, are nonetheless jealous of what someone else has accomplished, & they relish taking it away from the other person, destroying the property, or bringing the other person down.

    I've had experience with that kind of thing, too:
    I once was a good friend & gave a lot of help to someone who re-paid me by causing me a whole bunch of trouble.

    (I should have known:
    She once told me she could take a certain man away from his wife.
    Since they guy was an underemployed person with an alcohol problem, I asked her why she would do such a thing.
    She smiled a little Mona Lisa smile & replied, "Just to see if I could do it.")

    So...
    You just gotta be careful.
    Protect yourself, be safe, protect your garden, your property, & your time from theft.

    ........
    ........

    Funny story:

    There used to be long conversations, or arguments, on a couple of forums (not this one) about whether it's okay to snip off cuttings from plants in other people's yards/gardens, in *stores*, or in public places.

    The justification was almost always, "It doesn't hurt the plant, & it doesn't hurt the owner."

    Being reminded that it's *someone else's property* never seemed to make a dent.

    The funniest one was someone who saw a rare plant at a nursery.

    He said the price was exhorbitant, it should have been priced much lower.

    So he snapped off a piece & took it home.

    Then he posted it on a forum with a sort of "just for the sake of discussion" attitude & was very offended when people took him to task & called it stealing.

    *Then* somebody mentioned that a similar discussion had been posted on Frugal Gardening, & this guy came back all sniffy & said that he never associated with the "frugal gardening type", that they were always trying to get something for nothing!

    can't see the forest for all the trees he's digging up...

  • bo_berrin
    15 years ago

    Robert Frost said, "Good fences make good neighbors." Is an attractive fence possible? (With a snarling guard dog inside?)

  • pjtexgirl
    15 years ago

    You know what might really work?? A motion detecting sprinkler! What a surprise that would be! PJ

  • susie_gardener_2007
    15 years ago

    I had a bunch of pot plants stolen one time when I was living in an apartment. I went upstairs to talk to the neighbor about it and found out her boyfriend stole my plants and gave them to her, so I got them back. Some even had macrame hangers (that's how long ago it was).

    And when I was living in Orange there was a woman going around her neighborhood stealing yard ornaments out of other people's yards all over the neighborhood. Lots of them. Then she took them and put them in her own yard! Of course she got caught and charges were filed. Had to be on drugs to do something that stupid.

    This week I heard on the radio about a new housing development where they had left a line of mature trees for a buffer zone and someone came in and cut the trees down to steal the firewood.

    Just when I think I've heard it all, something worse happens. People will steal anything. I know you must be so mad and feel violated. Maybe since you filed a police report, they can drive by your neighborhood more often. It sounds like a landscaping crew. It would take one person too long to dig them up. Plus they had to come prepared with gloves since roses have thorns. Sounds like it was a planned theft and not spur of the moment. I hope they get caught.

    Susie

  • mango-tango
    15 years ago

    I've heard of Japanese maples getting ripped off -- usually freshly-planted, large [read: "expensive"] specimens.

    Very disheartening -- hurts the heart, hurts the wallet.

    - Mary

  • sally2_gw
    15 years ago

    All these stories about the gall some people have. Amazing.

    Just to defend landscapers a little bit, not all of the landscapers that work from home are dishonest. I know a few that do work from home, and spend actual money at actual nurseries for the plants they use. That's not to say to trust anyone with a pick-up and shovel, but there are honest, hard working people out there trying to make a living the right way.

    I worked with a golf course once that had a problem with plants being stolen from their entryway, (where their driveway met the street - not the front door of the clubhouse.) Anyway, pretty much anything they installed was stolen shortly thereafter. They'd see the plants for sale on a street corner. You know, during the summer you'll see people selling things from parking lots on the corner of busy intersections. Well, not that I ever bought anything from those stands anyway, and I don't really remember seeing plants for sale, but after hearing this business's problem, I especially don't plan to ever buy anything from a street corner. As for the golf course, I suggested they plant poison ivy. It's attractive, and if someone was stupid enough to steal it, they'd be very sorry. I don't know if they took my suggestion, but I think they were tempted.

    Sally

  • jolanaweb
    15 years ago

    SALLY, that is great and most people don't know what poison ivy actually looks like, lol

  • pjtexgirl
    15 years ago

    LOL! Good one Sally. Heck a bigger mermaid rose or a Cat's Claw Acacia would work too.PJ

  • pjtexgirl
    15 years ago

    LOL! Good one Sally. Heck a bigger mermaid rose or a Cat's Claw Acacia would work too.PJ

  • poetlore
    15 years ago

    I am so heartbroken--glad at least I can commiserate. I have had a Nuccio's Gem white camellia in a pot in the same spot in my front yard for seventeen years. It has long since broken through the pot. Someone STOLE this today--ripped it right out of the ground--it was a beautiful camellia specimen--and I am heartsick. I raised this from a neglected plant I found at the house when we moved in.

    It's disgusting that people do this. I am so angered by the stories I read here, that people would just take things we plant to make the world a little more beautiful. How can you even look at a plant you've stolen and derive any pleasure from seeing it in your yard?

    My only consolation is that the camellia was fronted by a some poison oak I hadn't gotten around to ripping out. I hope the camellia thief found out about it the hard way!

  • carrie751
    15 years ago

    I am not sure they are taken for their own enjoyment, poetlore ---- more than likely, they will be selling your beautiful plant. And this, to me, is even worse. I am so sorry and can certainly feel your pain.

  • bo_berrin
    15 years ago

    How do they sleep at night? They'll get theirs someday, and I don't think it will be just a simple case of poison oak. One reaps what they sow, and if anybody knows the principle of sowing and reaping, it's us true gardeners who actually "grow" stuff instead of "stealing" it.

    The pleasure of a garden comes from the feeling of a job well done. They certainly aren't keeping these plants for themselves, but selling them. This is one good reason to share amongst ourselves and shop ONLY from reputable businesses, even though it costs more. Let's put the thieves out of business!

  • terryisthinking
    15 years ago

    There was a story on the news a few months ago that blew me away. It was corp of engineer property that bordered a high-end second-home getaway type place that overlooked a lake or river.

    Without anyone reporting anything a team of people had come in and cut down 6000 trees. Yes THOUSAND. The cops thought it would be so someone in one of the big houses could have a better view. I mean who else could hire all that done?

    I haven't heard what happaned. Probably someone that rich will have a judge friend and get away with it.

  • copanolady
    15 years ago

    I have a story too. Some years ago I lived in Corpus Christi and had a beautiful Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow in full bloom on my front porch which was stolen, pot and all on EASTER SUNDAY while I was at church. I couldn't believe it. I guess someone got a beautiful Easter present that Sunday. Disgusting and depressing that there are people like that, but there are.

  • zippity1
    15 years ago

    someone stole my bottle green gazing ball last Christmas Eve!! (it was a transparent bottle green)--haven't been able to find another!! i'd never had anything stolen before
    it's a terrible feeling
    i guess someone's mother got a nice christmas gift!!

    my new (almost ugly) pink one is in the BACK yard!!

  • denisew
    15 years ago

    I haven't had anything stolen, but one year when I planted some dahlberg daisies in the corner of my property, someone whacked them down to the ground. I strongly suspected it was the lawn company hired by the neighbors. These plants weren't in the ground for a week and they got whacked. I think I was more upset at the time I spent planting them more than the cost of them because they're annuals and I had a nice sized patch of them planted there. I would really be ticked off if someone stole a plant I just put out or that I've had for a length of time.

    okokok - If there is a Big Lots near you, check there for one of those clear green glazing balls. I have seen that color at their store in the past. Not sure what they have now because they're always getting new stuff in, but they have sold gazing balls before and they're pretty reasonable. I see them in their store almost every spring or summer.

  • prairiepaintbrush
    15 years ago

    I'm so sorry, Poet's lore. How awful that you've had the plant for so long.

    I had my house broken into and lots of stuff stolen. I *hope* it wasn't anyone I know who knew I was in Fort Worth, but one never knows.

    I had a customer who creates nice plantings in pots for Mother's Day, but people on her street joke that it's not safe to put things out until after Mother's Day, or they become gifts for someone else's mother! And this is a nice street. I had no idea how widespread plant theft was.