Some thieves in Springfield are targeting the hard work and money people put into planting flowers on of their properties.
Victims are warning homeowners and businesses to keep an eye on their own potted plants.
More than $3,000 worth of plants were stolen from one Springfield neighborhood last week. Thieves took plants from Garden Mark’s plant stand, 1280 Villa Road, and from the entrance of the Villa Road condos on Villa and Derr roads.
“It’s a big loss because we put a lot of effort into it,” said Candice Chester, who works at Garden Mark’s.
The business put up a sign that reads “Please don’t steal!” after someone took off with 40 hanging baskets from the property last week.
The family business has set up shop during the month of May on Villa Road for the past decade. They’ve had flowers stolen before, Chester said, but never this many.
Business owners don’t understand the crimes.
“Why? What are they doing with (the plants)? Where are they going?” Chester said.
Residents of the Villa Condos in Springfield, just down the road from Garden Mark’s, also were hit by a plant burglar.
More than $1,600 in potted plants were stolen over the weekend.
The flowers adorned the brick signs at the entrances of the condos in the 1100 block of Villa Road and 3100 block of Derr Road, said Bunny Huffman, grounds chairwoman of the condos.
Someone stole the planter boxes overnight Saturday, Huffman said.
Residents invested more than $1,600 to put the plants at the entrances, she said, adding that many of the senior residents enjoy looking at the plants and taking care of them.
This is the second year in a row thieves have taken the flowers, Huffman said.
“They’re beautiful and this year they didn’t last two days,” she said.
They were put up Thursday and gone by Sunday.
Springfield police were notified of the thefts, she said.
Huffman said residents are baffled at how the thieves loaded up the large planters on a busy road.
“You just think somebody would see the crime, because we’re talking about big planters,” she said.
Residents at the condos are hoping to spread the word about the flower thieves, Huffman said, in hopes they might be caught or that other residents in the city can keep an eye out for their own plants.