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Lock up your daisies! There’s a flower thief on the loose!

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A green-thumbed burglar is on the loose in Park Slope, striking fear in the roots of plants, and forcing owners to safeguard their property by any means necessary.

Victims say that the bandit has been stealing buds and bulbs for some time in and around Sixth, St. Marks and Flatbush avenues.

And the thief isn’t discriminating, snatching all manner of flora from stoops or front gardens, and forcing owners to tether their pots with sturdy cables, or even cement them firmly to the ground.

“Every spring, those of us with front yards have to chain our plants,” said Pauline Blake, who lives on St. Marks Avenue and is also president of the 78th Precinct Community Council, a civic group that meets monthly with cops.

Blake said her household has been victimized by the flower fiend for years — indeed, last week, the kleptofloramaniac nabbed Blake’s sister’s red flowerpot — but left behind the small pine tree that once called it home. “We figured the next thing is that they’re coming for the plant,” she said. Last year, the thief made off with the Blake’s azaleas.

“They just come in and help themselves to anything in front,” she said.

Over the years, Blake estimated she’s lost hundreds of pots and plants — and hundreds of dollars.

“I always bring it up to the police,” she noted.

Cops said they are alert to the situation, but are having trouble pinning down the varmint because “no one is really making reports on it,” said Capt. Bill Russo of the 78th Precinct. “We’ve haven’t gotten any physical complaints, but we are aware, and looking out for it.”

Eladia’s Kids, a childcare center on Flatbush off Prospect Place, is among the victimized. Sarah Valk, the administrative director there, said that a small evergreen — pot and all — outside disappeared last September.

“I was baffled at the audacity of someone taking the pot in broad daylight,” she said. “I just watered it, and the next minute, it was gone.”

As shocking as it was, Valk said she never told cops about the incident — and has now taken matters into her own hands, locking up the center’s pots with formidable steel cables.

Stealing a plant or flowerpot would likely be considered petty larceny, which is the theft of property valued below $1,000. As such, it would not typically show up in our weekly police blotter or in a precinct’s CompStat statistics.

The situation might not be exclusive to Park Slope. In front of Breeze Demolition on Bay Street in Red Hook, the trunks of mid-sized plants are kept safe by a Guantanamo Bay-esque ring of barbed wire. A worker declined to discuss the high security measure.

Cherry Blake said the thief — or thieves — treats the neighborhood like his own personal nursery.

“If they see anything they want, they just take it,” she said.

She now keeps her plants imprisoned behind an iron gate, confident that one day, plant owners will get some re-leaf.

“Eventually, he or she will get caught,” she said.

Updated 4:46 pm, April 9, 2010: Updated to include a new victim.
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Reader Feedback

fourth estate from dumbo says:
Flowers get stolen from gardens in Obama's america. Certainly no surprise. It's the democrats take from the deserving and give to the needy communism that empowers these people. They think, she has many flowers, and I have none, surely our president would approve of my 'redistributing the wealth'.
I would even being willing to venture that they assume that this fine woman is a communist, just because she is black - which is absurdly racist and just unacceptable.
April 7, 2010, 12:31 pm
Karley from Park Slope says:
These people who commented in the story, said that their flowers have been taken in the spring for many years now. And considering that we have just entered into the second spring under Obama, that must mean that flowers were being taken during Bush's America as well. During Bush's America, all of the domestic flowers were taken from the stoops, ground up, and sent to Iraq as tanks. But that was only after it was certain that the corporate and the wealthy were retaining as many flowers as they could, thanks to the highest level of tax breaks for the wealthy in the history of tax breaks.
Obama is simply returning America to the way it had been, before the last few presidents distorted the American Dream.
April 10, 2010, 10:38 am
iverisen from Fort Greene says:
It happened to me this morning! I had flowering plants stolen from the front of my building twice last year so decided to plant non-flowering varieties this year but it hasn't seemed to help. I'm thinking seriously about installing a camera. The man who keeps re-selling me the plants at the farmer's market says that this happens a lot around here.
May 3, 2010, 1:56 pm

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