WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Plants stolen from ‘RV-prevention planters’

(WSB photo)

Another large-scale theft of newly placed plants has happened. Last time it was at Alki Beach Park; this time, from planters in the street along Roxhill Park. A nearby resident emailed us to report the theft while explaining the planters:

I’m a resident on 29th Ave SW across from Roxhill Park in Westwood area. 6 families on 29th Ave, south of Barton St. pooled money together recently and purchased 10 large galvanized water-trough planters which we set out on the East side of 29th Ave to prevent the RV people from returning. Hundreds of dollars of newly planted plants we put in last Friday were all pulled out of the planters and stolen last night around 9 pm. The RV-prevention planters were set up next to the playground at Roxhill Park after over a year or so of RV’s terrorizing the street and park with their trash, loud gasoline generators, prostitution, and drug use which they had been parked and getting away with until recently when residents reported repeatedly to the city and they were issued citations and have all moved as of yesterday. We suspect a landscaper as the plants were all taken from the scene rather than simply being pulled up by a disgruntled RV person, returning for revenge.

We asked for more details on the stolen plants. They included “tall sky pencil hollies, boxwoods, and liriopes … Lavender and red and purple mums … Carl Forester Feather Reed grasses and Ruby daylilies ,,, And some blue festuca grasses from (one of the neighbors’) backyard.” Estimated value, more than $700. The neighbor who emailed us adds, “We were getting so many positive comments and even cash donations from nearby residents and parents of playground users that this is just too bad.”

78 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Plants stolen from 'RV-prevention planters'"

  • Terri October 12, 2022 (1:20 am)

    Seems to me the story here is not the theft, but the planters! Are they legally permitted? Or can anyone just decide to put stuff out on the streets now to keep other people from parking? The block I live on has been terrorized every day for over 4 months now by dirty, noisy diesel-leaking construction trucks who consistently block parking, alley, sidewalk and bike lane … can we block them this way? Or is it only the RVers who justify such measures?

    • DelridgeBerryPicker October 12, 2022 (9:12 am)

      There’s only one way to find out. Just do it and then maybe in 3 months the cops will sheepishly ask who put them there and then not issue any citations.

    • Johnny Stulic October 12, 2022 (10:40 am)

      Do the dirty, noisy diesel-leaking construction truck drivers engage in constant theft, fights, drug dealing, prostitution, trash and contaminated needles pollution, endless police response? No, they actually have to work for a living unlike the “RVers”? Then the answer is yes, it is only RVers who justify such measures.

      • WS Res October 12, 2022 (1:06 pm)

        Sex work is work, you know.

        • t October 12, 2022 (6:01 pm)

          The planters are a great idea and a way to beautify the neighborhood. I stopped going to that park area because of the derelict RVs.

    • Gehn October 12, 2022 (11:18 am)

      This is Seattle, there are no rules anymore. Do it, have fun with it!

    • Mychildrenhavebeentraumatized October 12, 2022 (10:01 pm)

      First of all, the planters were placed after multiple calls to 911 after our children were verbally assaulted by the people living in the RV’s. Imagine if you had two small children playing in front of your house, being verbally accosted by drug induced individuals saying they would kill them. And witnessing drug deals and fights at all hours of the day and night. The trauma our children have endured, in addition to the feelings of unsafety that families at the park have felt as they’ve witnessed the dynamics of the people living here, is not ok. I have all the empathy in the world for those living without homes. But not when it comes to feeling endangered by those individuals who seem to have more rights than we do. The planters were placed after over a year of this. There is adequate parking for regular vehicles between the planters, just not RV’s. We have talked to many people, including law enforcement, about the placement of the planters and the overwhelming majority of those in any position of authority around this have expressed validation of the choice this neighborhood has made.And for anyone who thinks the people living in those RV’s are abiding by any sort of 72 hour parking rule, you are WRONG. They park their other vehicles in front of the RV’s so they can’t get towed. And they stay for months. To anyone who thinks this is a war on homeless people, it’s not. It’s about protecting our traumatized children and feeling safe in our homes. 

    • 1994 October 12, 2022 (11:59 pm)

      I stand by the planters. The planters are attaining the objective which is to keep the RVs from illegally taking over the street. Autos can park in between the planters. The planters are a positive solution to RVs illegally taking over the street.  Most RVs don’t follow the 72 hour parking rule.

  • NotALawyer October 12, 2022 (2:06 am)

    Technically aren’t these planters illegal? I remember reading, on the West Seattle Blog I believe, that the law states that you can’t impede public parking like that. (I think it was mentioned in a post about the RVs by the former Allstar Fitness and how concrete blocks were set up to prevent parking on the side of the road.) Not that I wouldn’t be all for the planters given those sketchy RVs that were by that skatepark! I just mention it out of curiosity. Perhaps they were removed by the city?

  • Hillary Shaw October 12, 2022 (6:19 am)

    The planters are such a wonderful, welcome improvement to the neighborhood. Is there a contact with whom community members can connect to donate replacement plants, money, and/or labor?

    • RayWest October 12, 2022 (9:20 am)

      Hillary Shaw – To what purpose? Replacement plants would just be stolen like the originals. In addition, it’s likely these planters being put in the street that way is illegal. I understand the homeowners reasoning for doing this, but it’s a vigilante, albeit benign, act. The city needs to take more responsibility in getting these illegal RV squatters to immediately move out when they do this, rather than ignoring it. It’s been going on for too long.

      • Hillary Shaw October 12, 2022 (12:29 pm)

        My comment assumed the planters were placed as a collaborative effort between the neighbors and the city. If that is not the case, I hope the the city and community members will work together toward a longterm solution.

  • flimflam October 12, 2022 (6:34 am)

    such a strange a brazen crime. I’m surprised that nobody on the block noticed this happenin

  • J October 12, 2022 (7:03 am)

    Aren’t these illegal, same as those on Dakota?  
    Doesn’t Seattle have a policy of removing these at installers’ expense?

    • Rhonda October 12, 2022 (12:26 pm)

      “Installer’s expense”? What installers? They just appeared one day. Are they going to charge everyone living within a block of Roxhill Park to remove them? 

  • yikes October 12, 2022 (7:06 am)

    How is six families illegally blocking a public right-of-way better than six RVs using the public right-of-way?  Theft is wrong, but these families are themselves breaking the law, and expecting sympathy because they’re doing it while housed.

    • CarDriver October 12, 2022 (11:19 am)

      Yikes. Tell us what YOU are doing to help the “unhoused”. And if you really believe what these families did is illegal, please tell us what action you’ve taken with the city and law enforcement.

      • Derek October 12, 2022 (2:43 pm)

        For starters, I volunteer at a nonprofit org in Seattle–which helps houseless seniors. I also do volunteer work for politicians who are pushing for policy changes that help the houseless community seek better alternatives and reintegrate into society. I believe RV housing is fine and should be allowed. They can move every 3 days. It’s reasonable.

        • neighbor October 12, 2022 (4:15 pm)

          If they moved every 3 days it would be reasonable, yes. However if they set up for months or sometimes years and cover the surrounding area with rat-infested garbage and drug paraphernalia, that’s when people like these neighbors resort to less-harmful crimes like placing planters in the street. No one is objecting to the houseless people who are good neighbors; only those who aren’t.

          • Mariah October 12, 2022 (5:59 pm)

            Okay well we need to move the planters for those who DO move. Got it?

        • Question Authority October 12, 2022 (7:33 pm)

          Only if the RV’s are safe, road worthy and have current registration, tabs and insurance will they actually meet the criteria to actually have the right to use a City right-of-way and park for 72 hours.  Anything else is unauthorized squatting in rolling shacks outside the laws and unsafe for both RV dwellers, nearby citizens and businesses.

          • James October 12, 2022 (11:01 pm)

            And where do these dwellers go? The streets?

          • WS Res October 13, 2022 (8:26 am)

            Your username is really ironic, given how authoritarian your comment is.

  • Apotheosis October 12, 2022 (7:34 am)

    Thank you for making this neighborhood effort to bring Roxhill play area and park back to a place that resembles a public space in a functioning society. Sorry to hear about the plants! 

  • clinker October 12, 2022 (7:34 am)

    Missed headline opportunity: “Hostile architecture met with hostile response”.

  • Terry October 12, 2022 (7:46 am)

    It’s not the look Seattle is going for.

    • Sasquatch October 12, 2022 (10:59 am)

      There’s a look? I didn’t realize.

    • sam-c October 12, 2022 (1:51 pm)

      Or maybe the person that stole the hanging flower basket from the Senior Center (posted here on WSB?)    

  • DelridgeBerryPicker October 12, 2022 (8:00 am)

    Oh no! Someone did something illegal to the things that you illegally put in the street! You have my deepest sympathies. This must be a very challenging time for you.  /s

    Let’s not put lipstick on this pig. These are there to “deny the enemy”, not to beautify the neighborhood. Like it or not, these are probably still nicer to look at than what the “nearby resident”  described. So this still seems like a net positive for the neighbors, even without the plants.

    • mychildrenaretraumatized October 12, 2022 (10:15 pm)

      We did something illegal to mitigate the trauma and fear that our children, and the children and families who play at the park, experience on a daily basis. And the people who live in the RV’s are NOT doing legal things. They are dealing drugs, verbally assaulting/threatening children, and not abiding by the 72 hour rule. What’s worse, putting a planter in the way so those in RV’s cannot continue to harrass/scare our children? Or is it better to allow for strangers to verbally assault families and children, in addition to not abiding (in any way) to a 72 hour parking rule?

      • DelridgeBerryPicker October 14, 2022 (10:33 am)

        I’m all for you guys taking back your streets, if you feel you have the need and the right to do it. I’m just calling out the alligator tears about a few plants. Trying to beautify hostile architecture is extremely tone-deaf. These were put there to protect the children, but also to protect “your” neighborhood and your property values. You have to want all the consequences of the things you want.

  • Duh October 12, 2022 (8:22 am)

    Did anyone seriously expect anything different?    

  • Kravitz October 12, 2022 (8:23 am)

    While I understand the idea and reasoning behind trying to prevent the return of long-term illegal parking and camping by RVs, isn’t this also illegal? I think it’s pretty crappy that someone stole the new plants, but given the city has made businesses remove eco-blocks, I imagine the planters will also be removed soon. 

  • Alex October 12, 2022 (8:31 am)

    I feel for these neighbors but I am a little surprised the City didn’t shut down their effort like what happened with Andover

  • John October 12, 2022 (8:44 am)


    Not an excuse for the theft, but is it even legal for residents to barricade a public street?Wouldn’t there need to be some sort of permit/approval process by the city?

  • Apotheosis October 12, 2022 (9:39 am)

    If the city enforced laws with any consistency, we could have a debate about the legality of this or that in regard to what is allowable in the street. However, it’s ludicrous to state an  equivalency between the theft of these plants and the neighborhood’s efforts to both beautify the area and prevent the return of the “Thunderdome” scene that preceded the planters. 

  • graciano October 12, 2022 (9:44 am)

    It takes more time and energy to bitch/complain/be negative  about something than to be positive/happy so lets wait and see if these were in fact permitted legally to be placed there before jumping on your nag wagon. There looks to be space between each for a car to park and or a M/C

    • DelridgeBerryPicker October 12, 2022 (11:24 am)

      As far as I know, there is no existing permit for these. They are all technically “litter”, and are obstacles to the right of way for cars and bikes.All they accomplish is moving the RVs to someone else’s street. This is a band-aid on a bullet wound.

    • CAM October 12, 2022 (12:02 pm)

      Well if they are doing it legally then at the most basic level these planters are mobile and are shifted every 72 hours, correct?

  • CMON October 12, 2022 (9:55 am)

    I love vigilante solutions when our community needs it. Why is this not gaining the neighborhoods praise like the illegal make-shift skatepark article the other week?

    • Sara October 12, 2022 (10:47 am)

      The skate park is for the general betterment of the whole community of West Seattle. It serves as an opportunity for all youth and others who recreate in that way. It also serves as a more appropriate place to skate as compared to skaters using other public areas. The planters are a somewhat understandable but still very self-serving action. The people who placed them do not care that the RVs are just going to bounce to another block in our community.

    • Derek October 12, 2022 (10:58 am)

      Maybe because some people have compassion for the houseless or car-dwellers who could use the PUBLIC parking space. 

      • CarDriver October 12, 2022 (12:27 pm)

        Derek. Please tell us what YOU are doing for the car/motorhome dwellers and the homeless. 

    • KB October 12, 2022 (12:31 pm)

      CMON, that’s a really astute observation. I just went and reread the comments on the skatepark, and it’s interesting how many people supported that non-permitted action but are against this one – even some of the same commenters.  I don’t have a stake in this one way or another, but I do find it really intriguing when people are supportive of one unpermitted use but not another when there are so many parallels between the two.  Classic example of cognitive dissonance, I suppose.

  • fantastic October 12, 2022 (10:31 am)

    I think the planters are fantastic and a great look for Seattle, WAY better than the miserable law-breaking RVs.  I think a BAD look for Seattle is the tolerance for continual law-breaking.

  • ER October 12, 2022 (10:45 am)

    The RV’s on 29th have been a nuisance for years. They came up with a solution without being violent and yet people are damming them that it’s illegal. Who cares. Enough is enough. Who wants to see this out their front window. I applaud our neighbors for doing something when the city wouldn’t. 

  • WestSeattle October 12, 2022 (10:54 am)

    Wow, people are upset about “vigilante” neighbors setting up “illigal” barricades. No uproar about the absolutely illegal rolling drug dens that park on somebodys street where they likely pay thousands of dollars a month to live. The planters are not the problems the homeless drug addicts are. Get real. If you drive up Holden street from delridge and look at the street there is several piles of glass from cars that were broken into in the previous few nights. If you take a left on 30th Ave sw off holden and follow it to Barton you will see a trail of car glass along the road leading all the way to a RV encampment by Westwood village. My car was broken into and my neighbor had a vehicle cover stolen off of his vehicle in his driveway. On 31st Ave sw. So these people you guys are standing up for are the ones who will be on your street doing more of the same tonight, and tomorrow and for the foreseeable future until maybe all of us are affected on a daily basis. The second an RV pops up with garbage, stolen property and illicit drug use it should be impounded, crushed and the people living in it need to get put into involuntary treatment facilities until they can become anything but the scum of society they currently are

    • CAM October 12, 2022 (9:46 pm)

      Do you have statistical support for your assumption that it is the homeless population that is engaging in the vehicle prowling/vehicle theft in your area? Or any kind of basis for your interpretation of civil commitment laws or asset forfeiture laws or what they are used for? I’m sorry your car was broken into. I’ve lived in cities my whole life. That is a fact of life living in an urban environment that your car will be broken into. It’s not okay but it’s not unique to your neighborhood or Seattle or something new that is related to the number of people living in RVs near your home. And if your definition of who gets to live near you depends upon how much money they can pay for rent, you may want to consider some gated communities on the Eastside. That also isn’t reality in an urban setting. 

  • Olive October 12, 2022 (11:05 am)

    Sky Pencil Hollys?  The amateur hour.  When replanting, try the Julien Barberry (5 inch thorns) or a Pyracantha.  OUCH!  

  • John October 12, 2022 (11:47 am)

    It’s crazy how half the people commenting here would rather support homeless taking over the street than planters.  Feel free to invite the homeless to camp out in your front yard. The people living here have every right to prevent them from returning.  

    • CAM October 12, 2022 (12:01 pm)

      I don’t think you understand the definition of the word “right” in the context you are using it. 

    • Yikes October 12, 2022 (12:46 pm)

      There are homeless people living on my street…  I don’t know why you would assume people who regularly interact with the homeless would lose compassion for them.  It’s quite the opposite for most of us.  No one has an inherent right to public right-of-ways.  Blocking a city street and forcing people to park somewhere else is taking NIMBY to a whole new level (NIMPR-O-W?)

      • CarDriver October 12, 2022 (2:57 pm)

        Yikes. Do you have homeless living in front of your home? If you believe no one has an inherent right to public right of way why are you against them being moved??

        • CAM October 12, 2022 (4:25 pm)

          Well CarDriver, I am not Yikes and won’t speak for them and have no interest in arguing with you because all you are doing up and down this comment section is asking everyone expressing a particular sentiment the same question in an effort to get someone to fight with. What I will point out though is that no one that disagrees with you is going to take you seriously when you refer to psople as if they are nonhuman objects to be manipulated at your will and desire. If you’re looking to shore up your libertarian bona fides I’m sure there are better locales for that than here. 

    • Peter October 12, 2022 (1:50 pm)

      I think it’s crazy that some people treat the fact that unsubstantiated claims of crime by the homeless gives them permission to break the law themselves. Parking is a legal use of the public right of way, even if you don’t like the people parking there they have a right to do so. Putting planter boxes in the public right if way is not legal, even if you like it they have no right to do so. 

    • RayWest October 13, 2022 (7:19 am)

      John,  your argument and conclusion is not based on fact. Just because people object to the residents having taking it upon themselves to illegally block a street, does NOT automatically  mean they support allowing RV squatters to park wherever they want. There are legal avenues that need to be followed. There are health and safety issues to be considered as well. The residents took it upon themselves to deal with an issue in a way they should not have. People can have compassion for the homeless, but these type of “camps” cause a multitude of problems and should never be allowed to set up and go unchecked. The residents have a right to be frustrated with the city for not taking action in a timely and effective matter. However, that does not give them license to act independently, however well-intentioned.

  • 937 October 12, 2022 (1:55 pm)

    I find it interesting that nobody has noted it appears there’s plenty of room for parking. Normal cars, passenger trucks, just no room for oversized RVs.

    Keep fighting the good fight Roxhill!

    • momosmom October 12, 2022 (2:45 pm)

      @937 Graciano mentioned it.

    • Peter October 12, 2022 (3:46 pm)

      No room for utility vehicles, moving trucks, construction equipment, work vehicles, paratransit vehicles, work trailers, emergency vehicles … Sorry, 937, but neighbors have no right whatsoever to dictate who can use the street parking or what types of vehicles can use the street parking. 

      • 1994 October 13, 2022 (12:08 am)

        Did you notice there is plenty of available parking across the street on the side of the homes? Large vehicles as you describe can park along that side of the street. I stand by the planters.

  • MAS October 12, 2022 (2:44 pm)

    Is it even technically theft? The planters are left in a public street, like the tire someone left in the alley behind my house. Can you steal by removing just a part of the litter? Can I be prosecuted for disposing of the tire?

    • Rhonda October 12, 2022 (4:34 pm)

      Yes, it’s technically theft in the same way it’s illegal to take items out of an unlocked, illegally-parked car on a public street. It’s still someone’s property.

  • Sean October 12, 2022 (3:12 pm)

    Using these planters and eco blocks as a way of reclaiming the streets from broken down RV’s and encampments is the right thing to do. At least until the city truly enforces parking laws, vigilante acts like this is the only way to get the point across that it is not OK to set up camp and trash the streets.

  • Seattle Slew October 12, 2022 (3:40 pm)

    I don’t think people who put planters out to stop reoccurring, oversized RVs have any less compassion than people who don’t have to witness this on a daily basis. The thing is that it seems to be nothing but lip service by local politicians. When they start treating your street like a community with chickens living in a pen outside their RV with the generators running and multiple vehicles that look like they should be salvaged, it becomes tiring to witness. You lose a sense of pride in your community. 

  • wetone October 12, 2022 (3:47 pm)

    Who’s liable if bike, scooter or motor vehicle hits one of these and people are injured ?  Looks like a lawsuit waiting to happen. Hopefully it would be Seattle government as they are the reason this is happening………  and Seattle government will just continue raising  our taxes to pay their blundered idealism.

    • yikes October 12, 2022 (5:08 pm)

      If Seattle government has emboldened residents to illegally dump planters (with or without plants) in the parking strip because they think there won’t be any consequences, make sure you’re voting for candidates who will be clear that people with houses are not above the rules and that they are also not allowed to pile their crap in the street.  I think these comments have answered the question about what happened to the plants: the half dozen people who pooled their money think they’re geniuses, but the rest of the neighborhood thinks they’re jerks and don’t appreciate the illegal gardening.

    • Peter October 12, 2022 (5:16 pm)

      Those who illegally placed them there are absolutely 100% liable for any and all injuries or damages involving them. And since their actions are illegal their insurance will not cover them, they will have to pay out of pocket. 

  • DRW October 12, 2022 (4:35 pm)

    Someone used to litter here.

  • W/S Native October 12, 2022 (4:45 pm)

    Derek We have the answer……Safe Seattle Street….. Why not?  Obviously you’re my neighbor that dosen’t like moving every 72 hrs?  Keep stealing from the hood cause Karma is a b–ch.  Hail to my neighbors for doing this.  The children playing at castle park today thank you.

  • Runner October 12, 2022 (4:45 pm)

    Two thumbs up! I support your effort to protect your neighborhood street.

  • Mj October 12, 2022 (5:36 pm)

    This is due to the City’s failure to vigorously enforce the 72 hour parking and littering codes. 

    There is a person living out of a vehicle near Hiawatha Park they move it regularly and do not make a mess.  This person is playing within the rules, what does it take to get the City to make all people living in their vehicle to also play by the rules?

  • Joe October 12, 2022 (7:34 pm)

    I applaud the neighbors that did this even if it’s illegal. Who on here has actually tried to raise a family with people doing drugs and other illegal “activities” in broken-down RVs that are parked right in front of their house? It’s one thing to be empathetic about other’s unfortunate situation. It’s another thing to be completely naive about what’s really going on. 

  • Erin98126 October 12, 2022 (7:59 pm)

    Give me a break, people. WSB posts a story about an ARMED ROBBERY WITH A GUN at Ross in Westwood and that gets five comments. A group of neighbors take it upon themselves to keep RVs from setting up camp on their street and this garners dozens of negative comments about how wrong this is. Ridiculous.

    • CAM October 12, 2022 (9:38 pm)

      Well, you’d probably see just as many comments on that story about Westwood against illegal behavior if you had this many commenters arguing in support of it. Why don’t you venture over there and start posting in support of the people with guns and you will see how many responses you get. The hypocrisy comes in when people think their illegal behavior is justified when but the illegal behavior of other people is not. 

  • This made a difference October 12, 2022 (8:46 pm)

    As a parent who routinely takes children to the park, I salute this. The RV that parked there for the longest time had a sign facing the playground that said “I’m crazy and I have guns” in its window. I stopped taking my kids there for a long time due to that. After a community cleanup by Block Drop and seeing the rvs gone we took the kids back and WALLA, there were all of the sudden 25 families there using the playground instead of 2 or 3. I think that shows in context that the families want the parks to be safer for kids, this effort seems to have helped with that goal.

  • Sting October 13, 2022 (1:34 pm)

    Guerilla Art at its finest. I smile at the action. Stand up for the drug addicts not for the youth, makes sense….I’m not sure why statistics are needed if someone’s firsthand account is as such. Hold those accountable that need it. Keep it up planter peoples! A creative way to allow The park to be used for good. And planting plants! Or maybe seeds? Or perhaps cuttings?  

  • 1994 October 16, 2022 (8:32 pm)

    Looks like the planters won, at least for now. As of Friday Oct 14 no rolling health hazards seen parked on 29th.

Sorry, comment time is over.