West Seattle Crime Watch: The case of the boosted blooms

September 10, 2011 at 10:25 am | In Crime, Gardening, West Seattle news | 26 Comments

Things have been fairly quiet lately (and WSBeat fans should know, Megan Sheppard‘s weekly feature returns next week). Today, just out of the WSB inbox, from Mike B, a report:

We live on Fauntleroy Way near the Fairmount Playfield. I have a garden of mostly zinnias, gladiolas, and marigolds. Last night (Friday) at about 8:30pm my wife alerted me that there was someone in our yard picking my flowers. When confronted the young men said, “Sorry, they’re for my dead bro, man. Call the Cops.” They quickly walked away heading south. I did call and the police responded quickly. They did not find the young men. They were young white guys in their late teens or early twenties. One had a knit hat on. Both were dressed in baggy dark clothing. I know they were only flowers, but I put a lot of time into my garden and they were important to me.

Reminder, the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council resumes its meetings a week from Tuesday – at 7 pm September 20th, Southwest Precinct. Special guest this month – discussing identity theft.

26 Comments

  1. Tell these punks to go buy flowers for their dead bro, man. LOSERS.

    Comment by A — 10:53 am September 10, 2011 #

  2. Sorry dude with hat, your lame-o excuse is not credible.

    Comment by madashell — 11:28 am September 10, 2011 #

  3. Sorry to hear about that.
    People now a days have such a sense of self-entitlement,
    it justifies so many low and nasty activities.
    At least you had the balls to confront the little thieves.
    “Dead Bro” must be in hell to receive any grace from a stolen tribute.
    Small consolation for a season of nurturing, I know.

    Comment by old timer — 11:33 am September 10, 2011 #

  4. From the description sounds like the same group of young people that frequent Solstice Park, smoke pot and drink as if there were no one around.

    Comment by michael — 11:54 am September 10, 2011 #

  5. That’s blooming disgusting!!!!!

    Comment by marty — 12:17 pm September 10, 2011 #

  6. Okay, the flower-raiding trespassers were sneaky and vulgar. Maybe even surreptitiously casing the joint…

    But I keep thinking, what if the garden’s owner had shared willingly, cut and bundled some blooms for the two and requested they pay it forward, sharing something of their own with a stranger? Good karma for the gardener, turning the other cheek, perhaps a lesson for the flower snatchers (mixing spiritual metaphors)?

    Or maybe not. Flame away…

    Comment by Dina — 12:20 pm September 10, 2011 #

  7. If the flower owner were given the opportunity, maybe, but that opportunity was stolen, along with his flowers.

    Comment by Rick — 12:28 pm September 10, 2011 #

  8. I agree with Rick-these young men could have asked the homeowner if they could pick a small bouquet-instead of just taking what they wanted.

    Comment by Anne — 12:53 pm September 10, 2011 #

  9. That would make giving easy, if it was a polite request. When it’s difficult to do something generous, that’s the true test, isn’t it? I doubt if I could rise to the occasion — I’m not that benevolent a soul — but maybe someone is. Or maybe such things happen only in books.

    Comment by Dina — 1:41 pm September 10, 2011 #

  10. “But I keep thinking, what if the garden’s owner had shared willingly, cut and bundled ”

    And I keep thinking: What if these fine gentlemen had asked in the first place? Or offered to do some chores in exchange for some flowers?

    it is not sharing when you do it to prevent thugs from taking what they will of your property without your leave. “Giving” the nice bully your lunch money instead of waiting until he shakes you down for it it not good karma, it merely feeds the beast.

    These fine young lads likely represent the class of people who think that anything they want is theirs, you just happen to be taking care of it until they take it. Sadly, it’s a growth industry these days.

    Turning the other cheek sometimes only gets you a second set of bruises.

    Comment by Jim P. — 1:51 pm September 10, 2011 #

  11. You’re no doubt right Dina-however I guess I’m just a bit tired of the “victim” being expected to step up & pass the test. I know that’s what “turning the other cheek” is all about-but-how about every now & then making the taking harder.

    Comment by Anne — 1:54 pm September 10, 2011 #

  12. First world problems!

    Comment by DE — 2:05 pm September 10, 2011 #

  13. I am the renter and it was my garden that was vandalized. I would have gladly let them take a small bouquet had they asked. They instead pulled them up by the roots. Flowers are not owned, but tended and are there for all to enjoy. I invest much time and money in my garden and it brings me (and, I hope, others) joy. What enraged me was the young guys killing the flowers rather than clipping some. I have had other pick flowers without permission and that bothers me, but to kill them for no reason (or a lame one), makes me downright angry! I am sorry that my neighbors had to listen to me yelling at the punks, but I kind of “lost it”

    Comment by Mike B — 2:10 pm September 10, 2011 #

  14. No Anne, the victim isn’t expected to step up & pass the test – the victim is expected to be resentful, as anyone except a saintly type or a Buddha would be. I was just speculating.

    Comment by Dina — 2:30 pm September 10, 2011 #

  15. Pulling up flowering plants by the roots? Selfish and short-sighted.

    They not only robbed the gardener but the gardener’s neighborhood as well.

    Comment by LivesinWS — 2:44 pm September 10, 2011 #

  16. Has anyone seen some guys selling flowers at nearby intersections? Perhaps with the roots still attached?

    Comment by happy — 2:46 pm September 10, 2011 #

  17. Hey, there is a lady in Admiral that does the same thing – except she drives around with scissors in the early am and clips whatever she finds appealing. Drives an older green Subaru wagon, as soon as she spots someone approaching she jumps in her car with the blossoms and drives away.

    Comment by homesweethome — 3:04 pm September 10, 2011 #

  18. In my opinion, when confronting them, you’re lucky you didn’t get shot. Confrontations with punks rarely end nicely.

    Comment by Linda — 5:06 pm September 10, 2011 #

  19. Something similar happened to our little flower garden. We returned home one afternoon to find a hole where a lovely petunia had been. I can’t understand why someone would be so selfish that they would rip something out of the ground that we planted for pubic enjoyment.

    Comment by JA — 9:10 pm September 10, 2011 #

  20. This same thing happens to me and my neighbors in the Seaview neighborhood. I wait all winter for the sign of my beautiful Daffodils to come up (pink and White from Holland) and when they finally bloom in all of their glory then some creep every year cuts them all!!
    I watched a guy go from yard to yard on mothers day cutting everyone’s blooming flowers, I yelled at him to get out of the neighborhood and he said “flowers are free” and kept doing it!!

    Comment by Silly Goose — 9:51 pm September 10, 2011 #

  21. Remind anyone else of the crime to our yard a few years ago? http://westseattleblog.com/2009/05/neighborhood-alert-plants-damaged-by-unsolicited-yard-work

    I was going to say, “only in West Seattle” do we use the tags ‘crime’ and ‘gardening’ on the same story, but all the commentors saying “this happened to me” makes me wonder if ‘gardening crime’ is a category on any police forms… or if it is on the rise. WSB, what are the crime statistics and trends on garden-crimes? Is it on the rise in these tough times?

    Comment by J & A — 11:26 pm September 10, 2011 #

  22. No category for that … so no way to tell.

    Comment by WSB — 12:24 am September 11, 2011 #

  23. Thanks for all of the support from everyone. I felt kind of silly even posting this, but with all of the comments from people who have been upset by lost plants and other “garden crimes” I feel a lot less silly. West Seattle is a wonderful place to live! Thanks Folks!

    Comment by Mike B — 5:40 am September 11, 2011 #

  24. What is wrong with people these days? “Flowers are free”? I doubt any florist would agree nor do I. Please feel free to look and enjoy my hard work all you want but taking w/out asking is stealing.

    Comment by RJB — 3:23 pm September 11, 2011 #

  25. Our Arbor Heights neighborhood has recently experienced the theft of heavy, ceramic planters in our front yards, complete with blooming plants. Not an inexpensive crime. Cowardly and mean-spirited. Coddling thieves by handing them bundled flowers is perceived by thieves as weakness and serves only to embolden them to take advantage of the next victim. That said, in addition to looking out for our neighbors, we need to support education, food banks and mental health clinics. It all comes around eventually.

    Comment by AH Neighbor — 9:02 pm September 11, 2011 #

  26. I sure wish I had more neighbors like these folks. Mike B, you just made my day a whole lot better. You and yours are undoubtedly some very cool people.

    Comment by NotMe — 9:05 pm September 11, 2011 #

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