Lufkin neighborhood fed up with flower bed bandits

By Jena Johnson - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Homeowners and their gardener are fed up with thieves swiping their plants. So much in fact, one homeowner has gone to great lengths to shut-down the flower bed bandits.

"That is so tacky, I can't imagine, that is so low," said Sally Selman, homeowner.

Plant thieves have left sally Selman's flower garden alone. "So far I've been lucky," said Selman.

But several houses in her neighborhood haven't had the same pot of luck. Delbert Richardson, homeowner, said someone tried to pull a large plant from his front flower bed. "I put a peg down there, drove a pipe down so I could keep it together, keep it from moving," said Richardson.

Richardson said the plant bandits are targeting new, empty houses, like his neighbor's. The thieves are costing homebuilders big bucks. "They get a house nearly finished, put the landscaping in, go back the next day and it's gone," said Richardson.

Armando Leal landscapes the neighborhood. He thinks the thief is re-selling the plants. "If it don't cost you anything then any money you make out of it is profit," said Leal, owner of Leal Landscaping and Sprinklers.

Leal said to replace a flowerbed would cost $500, which is another day of work wasted for Leal. "It's costing people money," said Leal.

Selman installed a surveillance camera to protect her new flower bed. "If they tried, it's scared them away," said Selman.

With her new camera, Selman said she hopes to catch a glimpse of the flower prowler. "We'll get you one day buddy, we'll getcha," said Selman.

Homeowners tell KTRE police have stepped-up their patrols of the neighborhood. They said they just want people to leave their quiet street alone.