Thursday, May 17, 2007

Tulip Thief Strikes Again!

Some readers may remember that last year someone stole a bunch of tulips from my yard. I wrote a letter to the perp, and posted it to the blog. This year I breathed a small sigh of relief when my tulips opened unmolested. My around-the-corner neighbor was not so lucky. This year, all of the tulips along her front garden were snipped and stolen. She was as angry as I had been, but apparently she does not have a blog. (Seems unlikely, I know, but I guess one or two people are still holding out.) Instead, my neighbor put up no fewer than four signs in her yard itself, plus a total of eight additional signs at the light poles on either end of the block. Here's one of them:

To add insult to injury, around the same time as the tulip theft three small trees planted on the side of her house were dug out and taken away. My neighbor thinks this theft (a vastly more aggressive plant abduction than the tulip taker could likely manage) was perpetrated by the people hired to install plants at the newly constructed condos a block away. Several gardener trucks were parked on the block, and it was during their few day stay on the block that the trees went missing. And really, who else is likely walking by with a big shovel with which to uproot the trees? Or a vehicle in which to cart them away? Definitely not a random crime.

My neighbor is so angry and upset about these thefts that she's already thinking about leaving this house they purchased less than a year ago. The loss of my tulips last year did not make me want to find a new home, but it did have me harrumphing and complaining for days to anyone who would listen. It sucks that people think it is ok to steal plants, as if they are not the resident's property the way that a porch swing is. It is worse in some ways, because the resident has put energy into the plant and is likely more invested in its well-being and beauty than she would be in the health of an Adirondack chair.

The one redeeming thing about this is that it reminds me how much I love Portlanders' willingness to vocally (or visibly) declare themselves to their neighbors and the world. It may not be much solace for my neighbor, but maybe the knowledge that our local serial tulip thief changes target each year could be.

(Thanks to Sarah and her call for cell phone photos. She reminded me that this was still in memory. Also, thanks to Chris for checking my links.)


  1. It is funnier knowing an adult wrote it.

  2. Has your small neighbor weighed in on the plant theft? As I recall, he had some awesome ideas for catching the perp when your tulips were taken.

  3. Wow, stealing trees? That's ballsy.

  4. That blows.

    It's a shame I can never catch anyone in the act of something like this. Whenever someone lets their dog poop in my yard or snatches something off my porch... I'm never around.

    And it's a shame, too, because they would never find the body.

  5. this reminds me of the time we walked past a tree in your neighborhood and the owner had attached a polaroid of the tree in bloom, and the caption read, "nice, huh?"

  6. a church round the corner from me few years ago had ladies that kept its narrow surrounding flowerbeds immaculate. One morning, half the lillies had gone. Their sign said something along the lines of "to whoever took our beautiful flowers - please come and take the rest"

  7. That is too much.
    Who would steal tulips??? Who would ask for them back???

    Sarah sent me...

  8. nonlinearpapa5/18/2007 9:19 AM

    well... since I've now been tagged as the link cop, you might want to take another look at that first link.

  9. oh. and. update - there was a programme on bbc radio this afternoon about a bunch (geddit?) of "the green fingered versus the light fingered" Even a pond was stolen in one case!

  10. you know I think Chris gets too much credit. He owes a post for all this opining.

    Or maybe I was just trolling for somewhere to use the word opine, tonight?

    ps.. did you guys not go out to dinner this week? you know we dine vicariously through you.

    the endlessly rhyming comment, END>

  11. Who does this? Who steals tulips? Aren't they like $3.99 for a bunch at the grocery store? I don't understand..

  12. i know a gal in l.a. with a lovely succulent (that sounds dirty...). really, this plant is original to the house (built 1968)...people keep hopping her fences at night and take huge cuttings from the plant.