"Yesterday, a woman parked her white Prius right there [in front of my house],” said Steve from University Heights, “then started to cut my succulents (with a pruner), and left. That’s stealing!”
Steve, 67, is a retired manager of the Balboa Park maintenance department. On June 10, he and his neighbor were targets of yet another plant thief in their neighborhood. “It's sad, I give these things away all of the time,” he said, “and why do they cut it up top — when they should cut it lower?”
Pat, 59, is Steve’s next-door neighbor. “… she opened her passenger door, snipped some of mine, put them in her [Prius] car, used some hand sanitizer to wash her hands,” she said, “then left without leaving a thank you note.”
Both Steve and Pat live in a semisecluded area off of Madison Avenue. Because their homes are covered by their plant collections, the two can see outside their gardens, but it’s difficult for the perpetrators to see inside their homes, especially when the sun’s out.
“Shes a blonde and about yay tall,” Pat said, “and I warned some of our neighbors by posting photos of the egregious pruning where the thieves cut our plants in the middle.”
Pat posted the photos on the crime and safety section of a social media thread started by Heather M. from North Park.
Heather, 33, was victimized on June 6. “It’s extremely disappointing and rather infuriating that someone would walk onto my property (on Ohio Street by Polk Avenue) and take our hanging succulent planter from our front yard.” She also posted a photo of her shepherd hook plant hanger; sans the succulent, which she valued at around $30.
“A few months ago, someone got into my back yard (near Kansas Street and Lincoln Avenue) and stole a dwarf orange tree,” said another North Park neighbor. “They yanked it right out of the ground! It really sucked, so I know how you must be feeling.”
A male who lives by Illinois Street and Howard Avenue was jacked as well. “I recently also had plants stolen — two flower pots taken right off my front porch. It’s infuriating,” he said. “Who steals plants?”
Steve and Pat noticed another plant thief that visited before Labor Day. They said that she was a blonde too; just not as green as their most recent visitor. “She drove an oxidized Ford Escort,” they said.
Pat wants her neighbors to know that the scandalous snipping’s gotta stop because “it’s wrong,” and the least that the perps can do is “knock on her door and ask.”
Steve isn’t as forgiving because of the thieves’ sloppy pruning, which disrupts the visual flow of his enormous plant collection. He replaced his lawn with a variety of succulents, cacti, and other subtropical plants — to be greener. “Succulents and cacti require less water and maintenance,” he said, “and since the drought they have been increasingly popular.”
No police reports were made as of yet, but Pat, Steve and Heather said that they will be installing video cameras to cover their gardens.