A reader with a front yard reports two consecutive plant thefts occurring in the wee hours of Saturday, June 4 – both perpetrated by the same brazen bloom burglar and caught on video. Still not satisfied, the man was back a week later.

Longer clip of first theft from Mission Local on Vimeo.

Writes resident and plant theft victim Stephanie:

“At around 4am on Saturday a guy appeared to be walking by our house, became interested in some of our plants, walked by, came back, stole one of the plants, left for 20 minutes and then came back for a second.  The second was in the ground and far into our yard.  All around — very creepy!”

Stephanie says she doesn’t recognize the man. The first plant to be snatched seems to attract a lot of attention in general for a $15 potted shrub, she said, and it appears the thief took some time inside the yard while taking the first plant to scope out his second target, a white hydrangea that he later returned to pull out of the soil.

“The weird thing is that there were three hydrangeas – blue, purple and white. The white was the one closest to our side gate, farthest into our yard. That was the one he wanted to take. When my mom was going to replace it this morning, she said that she was afraid that white would be hard to find. Apparently white hydrangeas are in demand?” Stephanie wrote.

A week later, on another Saturday, the same man struck again, Stephanie reports, this time coming for a second hydrangea in the early morning hours.

Third Plant Theft from Mission Local on Vimeo.

Plant theft is a recurring topic on the online neighborhood forum Nextdoor, where neighbors in the Mission often notify each other of stolen greenery.

So, what if she came across them out in the world, transplanted to a new home?

“I would totally recognize the plants. They were both so happy and doing really well,” she wrote.

But Stephanie is a little sick of getting things stolen (packages, plants, etc.) regardless of their monetary value or lack thereof. Stephanie and her family clean the sidewalks, plant trees, and decorate for the holidays. Most recently they were considering putting furniture out in the front yard to interact more with passerby, but that may be out of the cards:

“After this creepy event the last thing I want to do is invest more money in items that will be stolen from the front of my house.”

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  1. Somebody stole flowers from in front of my house a week ago! (Near 19th/Mission.) They weren’t even in individual pots; they had been planted in a large planter. You can tell that the thief used a trowel and didn’t just yank them out by hand. Who the hell wants impatiens flowers so badly??

  2. A friend of ours in the neighborhood cuts holes in the pot and chains them up. Seems to work pretty well…