March 22, 2011

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things

This is not the first time we've had this query:
We recently renovated and moved into our new home in NV - and have been surprised with the amount of plants/parts of plants stolen from our front yard landscaping. Is this a common problem in NV? It's hard to imagine that a neighbor would feel comfortable with an arrangement in their home that they've stolen from a neighbor....

Mike on 23rd Street
Anyone have any stories to share? Advice?

Update (3/25): Nearby Dolores Heights resident Robert sent us the following:
We seem to have one or more semi professional plant thieves. They know what is valuable and resalable. They know what transplants. We have been having an ongoing discussion and documentation of this problem on the Dolores Heights Google Group for the last several years with pretty much the same ranting and gnashing of teeth. A few months back I spotted this character (who I have seen skulking about, often with plants) booking down 23rd at Church. A told him I wanted to talk about where he got the plant but he kept on rolling down the J tracks.
I know this is a city and this may not seem like the most important issue (right up there with the proliferation of nail salons), but please!

[Top Photo: Josie Soho]


Anonymous said...

Advice: giant jade plants can take a serious amount of abuse.

Anonymous said...

Just a thought, but could racoons or other creatures be responsible?

Also, don't assume it's a neighbor. General rule, if it's in your front yard and it's not nailed down, expect it to walk. It's an urban environment, not everybody will be the good neighbor.

If you're lucky enough to have front yard space, landscape in durable ways. There's a landscaper who does gorgeous but urban-friendly style, but can't remember name. Look for yards you like, and ask them who does it.

Anonymous said...

When we moved in a few years ago, I looked out my window one morning to see a local-looking older gentleman pick several lilies right out of our front yard. I was speechless.

Anonymous said...

Several years ago, during the Christmas season, someone came inside our iron (non-secure) gate, walk up the 12 stairs to our front door and uproot the pointsettia planted in the large planter on our front porch. We dutifully replanted a new pointsettia only to have it happen again a few days later. We now put in plastic pointsettias. They don't look great up close, but they don't get stolen!

Anonymous said...

I lived on Chattanooga at 24th for 3 years and every time our calla lilies bloomed in our planter in front of our house, someone would come by and clip all of them at the base of the stems before we could enjoy them. Bastards.

SMinSF said...

I echo the earlier poster who thought it could be animals.

I never would have believed it, but this year my 2 lemon trees were stripped of all the ripe lemons (they were'nt left on the ground, they were gone) my tulips were clipped off at the base of the bud and the buds left on the ground, and my passionflower buds were disappearing. Last year it was rosebuds. The culprits? Squirrels, as I finally saw them in the act of all of the above activities. They eat the lemons, rosebuds and passionflower buds.

Very discouraging - I am not going to bother planting any more flowers or edibles this year, unfortunately.

enb said...

Its not animals stealing entire plants.
Someone always stole our plants from 23rd and Dolores, times they would climb up a shopping cart to the 2nd floor window's planter boxes and steal the plants.
They also stole the light bulbs out of our outdoor christmas lights.

I put "something" in the upper planter boxes to stop that, but a good solution for the lower outdoor plants was to use a zip tie or some floral wire and wire the base of the stem to a nail. Like most thieves, if you make it slightly inconvenient for them to steal from you, they most likely will move on and or just steal from someone else.
Total shame though. Makes me glad after 15 years to not be living in NV, or SF for that matter.

Anonymous said...

My neighbors and I have all seen a local lady cutting the flowers in our front planters on Sanchez.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone yell at the people you've seen cutting the flowers? What did she say? That takes a lot of balls.a

Anonymous said...

There is a apparently an older guy who has been stealing entire plants and pots from the Liberty-Hill neighborhood for years. He has been spotted hawking his wares to local restaurants etc. Maybe he works in Noe also.

I have had pots stolen from my front yard -- though it is impossible to know who did it.

Anonymous said...

I would suggest adding some poison oak to the planter and a caution to all passersby.

Anonymous said...

I plant perennials and annuals in my postage stamp of a yard. I recommend buying cheap bullet proof plants from Home Depot. I have yet to have a major problem. Save the fancy specimens and the delicate flowers from the expensive nurseries for the backyard.

I had squirrels eat fifty tulips, figs, lemons, tomatoes - anything they can get their little teeth on. The neighbors in the back feed them peanuts! Please don't feed furry rats!

Anonymous said...

We have lots of plant thievery on Church Street so we do have to plant strategically to deter theft. I used to plant lots of pretty flowers, but no more. And, no, these are human thieves, not squirrels and raccoons. And while I'm on a rant here, ever notice all the garbage on Church Street? I find I have to sweep up almost daily due to the litter that my neighbors and the passersby toss all over the street. It's filthy.

Anonymous said...

Yes, totally agree about the trash on Church St.

It's a combination of lazy ass landlords/property owners who do NOT clean up their sidewalks.


renters who never bother to also chip in to clean up the street. Ever notice how properties with renters are dirtier in front than owner occupied buildings?

Hey renters! stop being so damn lazy.

Anonymous said...

On my NV street the local association sent out flyers saying the "suggested donation" was $400. I don't own real estate. I don't want to own real estate. And I need the $400 to pay my rent! By the way, the association did an excellent job on the street.

CharleyZ said...

I have to say, the plant theft seems pretty rare on Vicksburg, although one of my neighbors has had rosebushes stolen. My plants must not be very valuable... ;)

Anonymous said...

We too have had plants pulled up by the roots and stolen. We've tried to plant the 'good stuff' away from easy access but the thieves are bold. We've considered installing motion detection sprinklers but that's pricey. The recycle thief is also active around our place. It's a little old Asian man with a pole on his shoulders and bags at either end. May all the rotten thieves get their just rewards.

Anonymous said...

Lived in NV for a number of years. Still remember how angry I was when a large basket of mums was stolen off my front porch. Couldn't imagine who would do it or why for that matter. All I could do was call the cops to report it because I hoped that others would do the same just to make neighbors be more alert. Apparently the thief (or thieves) are still at it. The other thing that would bother me was when teenagers would feel that our front steps were for their use to sit, drink, smoke, whatever. Coming outside and almost tripping on a glass beer bottle was the last straw.
Any time I heard someone attempting to sit a spell, I called the cops and asked them to do a drive by. Worked every time.
Let the cops know and at least they'll be more alert to issues in the neighborhood.
We lived near Happy Donut so they usually didn't have far to travel or could at least get a snack after driving through the 'hood. ;)
Just glad where we live now, our quiet neighborhood watches out for one another and we can all admire each other's gardens without worry.