Monday, May 11, 2009

Plant theft?

Folks, just what the hell is this world coming to?

A few months ago, my office moved to a new location. There was plenty of landscaping done at the new building and a good chunk of that included a lot of those scrubby little shrubs that are so nondescript that they fade into the background.

Some people took notice of them, however. Last week, a thief ran off with 27 of the things and had to be replaced for $1,400. Who the hell runs around town stealing shrubs? I've learned over the past few days that a lot of shrubs are turning up missing around Little Rock. I wasn't aware there was a black market for shrubbery, but such a thing does apparently exist.

There are two things to learn from this. First of all, my office is in Little Rock and this theft is a great example of why I live in Benton and commute about 20 miles to work everyday. Those Little Rock folks will steal anything that's not tied down.

Second, we were robbed twice. The first time we were ripped off by the company that had the audacity to charge $51.85 per scrubby shrub and the second time was by the folks who loaded those shrubs up in the middle of the night and made off with them.

Actually, we got robbed three times -- we had to pay to have the shrubs replaced to the tune of $51.85 per bush.

As usual, the folks at my organization have overreacted by purchasing a security system that is to be installed soon. I'm not sure how much that system costs, but it's a safe bet it will be worth more than the shrubs it will monitor.

Furthermore, an external security system isn't that hard to thwart. What if the sneaky thieves decide to show up in ski masks and unmarked trucks? What if you capture a couple of people who can't be identified on video and show it to the cops? With the amount of crime in Little Rock, I can't imagine the police will dedicate a lot of resources to tracking down a bunch of shrub thieves.

Maybe the "security system" plan will work fine. Those cameras do come with big, intimidating signs that warn of electronic surveillance. Maybe that threat will be enough to convince the shrub thieves to move on down the road and hit an easier target. What would be a lot cooler, of course, would be a couple of angry dogs patrolling the perimeter. Yeah. That would be a lot cooler than a bunch of easily-tricked video cameras.

Regardless, the mind boggles. $51.85 for a shrub? No wonder people are stealing them all over Little Rock.

Oh, here's another odd thing. My office is located near the FBI building in Little Rock. The thought was the proximity to the feds would effectively cut down on crime in the area. Evidently, that assumption was very wrong.

I do hope our victimized shrubs found a good home after being put on the black market. We can only hope. Thinking otherwise is just too painful.


Apollo said...

Wow, seems as when the 'R' word or the 'D' word is slapped around people' faces, they steal just about everything that is worth more than $10.

I remember last year when people in California started to steal 'anything brass' from fire hydrants and at least one house burned down because the fire-department could not use any of the fire hydrants in the entire neighborhood.

Sad, sad story...

Sherry said...

Amazing AND disgusting.

Danny Thornton said...

Hawg, have you ever considered that the thief and the shrub company might be the one and the same. Heck, you might have even bought back the very same bushes.

FishHawk said...

Umm, just what kind of "shrubs" did you-all have planted? It may have been a DEA raid.

JD at I Do Things said...

Holy crap, a shrub monitering system??!! I prefer the idea of angry dogs, too. It'd be hilarious to see a would-be shrub-absconder with some teeth sunk in his leg.

The Natural State Hawg said...

Apollo -- Copper theft has been the major problem around here. Not heard of the "brass racket" yet, but Arkansas is a couple of years behind other parts of the country.

Shrub theft? Very, very odd.

Sherry -- Isn't it, though?

FishHawk -- With these folks, who can tell?

JD -- That would be fun, indeed. Besides, the angry dog is so much classier than just a sign.

Danny -- That wouldn't surprise me a bit. Ethics are rather loose these days.

They have been for 10 years, actually.

Sparky said...

I bet it was the same ones who put them in also, In our area (this is no joke this really happened) we wired a State police barracks 2 years ago we had all the wire pulled between the parking lot lights but the lights hadn't been installed yet.Well during the night someone kindly removed all the wire for us mind you the state police were using half this building while we worked on the new half so it was occupied. The funny thing was there was no mention of this in any local news, nor did they ever catch the people to my knowledge.

f8hasit said...

That's just amazing...but I might think about the building getting a second estimate. That would be slick if it was the landscapers that took their shrubs back, planted them at some other building, collected on that instalation only to have those dissappear as well and move to the next property....

Devious... :-)

Thanks for the post and laugh! said...

When it comes to plants and shrubbery, I'm a survival of the fittest kind of guy.

At the same time, can you sell shrubs on the black market in Arkansas?


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