Light-fingered green thumbs caught on CCTV
Brazen thieves have been caught stealing plants from businesses in broad daylight and in the middle of the night, leaving New Farm residents pricked off.
Armed with big bags, perpetrators have been caught on CCTV "shopping" for plants at local businesses, and shamelessly stuffing their bags before fleeing the scene, only to come back for more.
Joedy Kyle, owner of Joedy's Cafe, said he was mortified when he watched CCTV of a woman stealing a hanging pot plant from his cafe in broad daylight.
"This person had the audacity to come into a brand new business, which has had to fight through all of COVID, and think it's all right to take from us," he said.
"The fact that it happened when the sun was still up and people were walking around in close proximity is quite shocking … it's not about the plant being stolen, I will replace it, but it's the principle of taking things that aren't yours.
"I'm shocked, I was mortified when I saw the vision to be honest. It's not just businesses, its brand new apartment complexes and people that are renovating their homes and spending thousands of dollars on landscaping, and people are just coming and pulling plants out of the ground or stealing pots."
New Farm Deli owner Maria Anello said the same thief has visited her restaurant at least three times to steal plants at midnight - all up she has had to replace a dozen plants.
"She has always been carrying big bags, which are full, and you can visibly see that there are other plants in her bag, so she's not only targeting us but she's doing her 'shopping' so to speak around the neighbourhood," Ms Anello said.
"Since the fire we had last year we've had to start from scratch, and usually I don't say anything when this happens, you just wear it and put it down to a small minority, but because this particular woman has done it quite a few times and we've got her on camera, it was time to speak up."
Ms Anello posted the vision to her local community page, and dozens of New Farm residents and business owners shared their own experiences with plant robberies.
Susan Cottrell, who owns The Body Refinery, said plants from a garden she made started disappearing over seven weeks - she has since wired her plants down and installed CCTV.
"It's really frustrating because you spend money on this to make the suburb look better and the building look more presentable, and people just take it," she said.
Locals have also reported plants stolen from public green spaces around Brisbane, with a Council spokesperson saying incidents "are not very common" but "disappointing" when it does happen.
"We work very hard keeping Brisbane clean and green by planting out and maintaining our beautiful parks and other public spaces such as kerbsides," she said.
"It is disheartening for our dedicated Council crews involved in planting and maintenance to have their work destroyed or stolen."
Originally published as Light-fingered green thumbs caught on CCTV