'My flowers are gone': Guelph residents report plants stolen from properties

Residents in Guelph are raising concerns about plants going missing from their property in recent weeks.

Lekha Nair lives in the Kortright Hills community and said pieces of her peonies were plucked off. She said she thinks about a dozen were cut off at the stem at the end of May.

“I feel very sad when we saw this,” said Nair.

The plant cost around $30 but Nair said it is not the money that is the biggest loss.

“It hurts,” she said, adding that the garden is her happy place. “It is therapeutic for me, leaving my stress. It makes me feel happy.”

A similar incident occurred off Victoria Road North at Loretta Gortmaker’s home on June 7.

“When I backed out of the driveway there was a hole there where there used to be a plant,” said Gortmaker.

She replaced the missing plant but said it is still upsetting.

“I had actually taken the hangers off of it and I had just sink the pot into the ground a little bit so that it doesn't blow over,” she said.

A resident who lives off Stevenson Street North said about eight of her plants were ripped right out of the soil.

“If it’s an animal it would leave a trace like of dirt on the ground and stuff like that,” said Marissa Sarong.

Sarong said her aunt noticed it Tuesday morning and felt violated.

“Oh my gosh my flowers are gone. She couldn’t believe that someone would actually steal a flower,” Sarong said.

All three incidents took place in different Guelph neighbourhoods with several more posting on social media about possible plant pirates in other nearby communities.

“Property crimes don’t tend to happen in isolation. So if someone is doing it in one place, chances are they doing another place as well,”said Scott Tracey with Guelph police.

Police suggest people report any and all crimes no matter how small the dollar value of the items lost is.

“A theft is a theft and especially when it happens on your own property there is a violation of your property as well,” said Tracey.

Keeping a well-lit garden and installing security cameras could help keep culprits away, according to police.