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Friday, July 22, 2011

Wanted: Thief Pilfering Plants in Bernal Heights

Posted By on Fri, Jul 22, 2011 at 2:00 PM

Good at thievery, bad at gardening - COURTESY OF BERNALWOOD.WORDPRESS.COM
  • Courtesy of
  • Good at thievery, bad at gardening

Police are baffled by a string of plants thefts in Bernal Heights, where someone has been snipping off large sections of succulents from various homes.

The most recent case happened this week, when a resident called police to report that someone had ripped some cacti from their front yard on the 300 block of College Avenue.

The random plant pilfering has become so pervasive in the Bernal Heights area and has sparked furious chatter on a neighborhood Website. In a recent blog entry on the site, neighbors posted a photo of a man carrying a bucket of flowers, whom they believe to be the culprit.

According to the site:

I witnessed this older man

cutting succulents at the intersection of Coso, Montezuma and Mirabel at

8:50am. I asked him to stop, took his photo and watched him walk home

to a yellow 4 story apt building on Cesar Chavez, 4 buildings east of

Mission and next to the red building with the "Chicken John" mural.

Provided all this info to the Ingleside police station but they refused

to send a car and after 20 minutes finally gave me an e-mail address so I

could send the photo. Said they would look into it starting on Monday!

click to enlarge Pretty flowers - COURTESY OF BERNALWOOD.WORDPRESS.COM
  • Courtesy of
  • Pretty flowers

It seems plants are a hot commodity on the West side of town. Earlier this month, police arrested another man who was busted stealing flowers from city parks. Officer Harry Soulette told us today that he's not sure if the incidents are connected.

"We have an officer beating bushes -- no pun intended -- on this case," Soulette told SF Weekly.

So what's up with all the flower fleecing in the area? Soulette, a plant aficionado himself, says it makes sense that someone might want to steal flowers and plants; They're pretty -- pretty expensive.

"What better way to get plants than to walk up to someone's yard and snatch them?" Soulette says.

But what really bother Soulette is the fact that these crooks clearly don't know much about gardening.

"They are chopping them off at the wrong place -- they are killing them," Soulette says. "So if they are taking them for the purpose of replanting them, then they are just damaging them, which is why we think they are just doing it to be malicious."

Follow us on Twitter at @TheSnitchSF and @SFWeekly.


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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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