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War of the roses! Thieves stealing bushes from Ridge park

The most recent grab: Thieves stole a rose bush from this flower bed that Owl’s Head Park Horticulture Group volunteers planted in June.
Community News Group / Dennis Lynch

That’s plucked up!

Thieves are stealing rose bushes from Owl’s Head Park and area front yards, green thumbs warn. It’s a blooming shame — and the thefts are definitely a thorn in locals’ sides — but that won’t uproot residents’ mission to beautify Bay Ridge green spaces, one rosy planter said.

“It’s definitely sad to see — it’s a beautiful park, and those are planted by volunteers,” said Dave Matthews of the all-volunteer Owl’s Head Park Horticulture Group (and no relation to the popular singer-songwriter). “It happens, but we’re not discouraged, and we’re going to continue to do what we do.”

Rose rustlers have struck Owl’s Head Park four times this year — each time hitting the Colonial Road-side of the greensward — with the latest flower foul on June 18, Matthews said.

Matthews suspects criminals think the theft only hurts the Parks Department, but much of the flora is donated, so he plans to put signs letting the misanthropes know they are tearing up neighbor’s philanthropy, he said.

But someone recently pinched an entire brier from in front of a nearby apartment on the corner of Colonial Road and 68th Street too, and the prickly situation is a sign the present age’s wilted morals, one building resident said.

“Stealing roses? Can’t say I’m surprised — these days you never know,” said the man, who declined to give a name.

Meantime park volunteers will continue to fight the good fight in this war of the roses — they’ll be out tending to the gardens this weekend, Matthews said.

The Owl’s Head Park Horticulture Group at Owl’s Head Park [67th Street and Colonial Road in Bay Ridge, owlsheadvolunteer@earthlink.net] Saturdays. 10 am–12 pm.

Reach reporter Dennis Lynch at (718) 260–2508 or e-mail him at dlynch@cnglocal.com.

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