Ghost of Midnight

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26 reports of garden theft in 10 days on Burlington FPFs

Posted on Monday, June 20, 2016 by 2 comments

Who steals plants out of peoples’ gardens?  Burlington appears to be suffering a plant-based crime spree.  Over ten days this month in Burlington, people shared with neighbors on their local Front Porch Forums 26 times about garden theft of whole plants, cut flowers and even entire trees.  Ward 3 City Councilor Sara Giannoni posted to her constituents on FPF “I checked in with the [police] chief about how to deal with this. He gave me the link to their online reporting portal. Here it is:”

Here’s a recent sample of the FPF postings…

Another Plant Stolen
ONE Central FPF • Decatur Street•  Jun 18, 2016
Maybe this isn’t related to the other plant and tree thefts. It’s awfully coincidental, though. For several years, I had an astilbe plant in my back yard. Last year it died, but this year it miraculously sprouted up again. So, I’ve been carefully tending it, even put a circle of stones around it so it wouldn’t accidentally get stepped on. Today I was shocked to find it completely torn up, still lying there, dead. Weird.

Flowers Missing
Far North End FPF • Barley Road • Jun 18, 2016
Very interesting to hear of other garden swipes…Had four pansies plants taken from the bed around my evidence of an animal doing this, as area too clean, just holes where the plants were…not a big deal, but wondering if this is a trend….wish I had a security camera!

Far North End FPF • Northshore Dr • Jun 18, 2016
Grafitti discovered on the door to my utility shed this morning. Also learned of a rash of garden thefts on Lakeview Terrace. Entire peony plants, clematis vines complete with trellis, marigolds, geraniums, asiatic lilies…dug up and taken all up and down the street. They posted on their FPF and when calling the police got a recording saying their name would be added to the list. Perhaps extra vigilance is in order.

Plant Theft
Five Sisters FPF • Caroline St • Jun 18, 2016
So, adding to the list….my hanging basket was taken from my front porch. So sad.

Stolen Apple Trees
ONE Central FPF • Oak St • Jun 17, 2016
Somebody dug up and stole 3 dwarf apple trees Wednesday night. These trees were planted as memorial trees disgraceful. I wish the person committing this crime reads this.

Weeping Japanese Maple Tree Stolen Last Night
Hill Section FPF • S Willard St • Jun 17, 2016
Hey neighbors. Of all the things to steal that aren’t (technically) bolted down… Last night apparently someone decided to pluck our young dwarf weeping Japanese maple from beside the sidewalk. It was the centerpiece in the front garden my lovely and creative girlfriend had just spent hundreds of dollars and scores of hours on. Now, it’s likely in someone’s dumpster, the thief having likely been shamed by friends and neighbors. Or perhaps, creepier, someone has replanted it (and I thought horticulture bred compassion). Apparently there has been quite a bit of plant theft in Burlington lately, maybe there’s a budding entrepreneur with a non-ferrous moral compass. But if it can be recovered I promise to not summon Treebeard.

Five Sisters FPF • Caroline St • Jun 17, 2016
So it appears that the theft of plants and other garden ornaments has come to the five sisters… in broad daylight. My lovely statue with plants in it was stolen from my front yard this morning…. if you see someone digging in a neighbor’s yard at night, please call the police! Let’s keep an eye out for each other.

More Plants Stolen
ONE West FPF • Lakeview Terrace • Jun 16, 2016
Plants taken once again at 60 Lakeview Terrace, Two gorgeous million bells hanging baskets taken from hooks. I have a very bright light on my porch – I guess I’m going to need a motion siren! What is going on!! What happened to out neighborhood? I’m truly sorry that anyone lost lovely flowers. I’m happy to share if anyone needs to fill in with irises or johnny jump ups when I thin out beds.

Stolen Items from Yard
Far North End FPF • Clover Lane • Jun 16, 2016
Hate to see this kind of post, let alone write it. Our friends on Clover Lane let us know that sometime at night their lawn decorations and small fencing had been stolen. Given the close proximity to our bedroom windows and the fact this is a nice quiet neighborhood , this was very disturbing to hear. They have reported this to the police and were told that they hadn’t heard of any activity like that in this neighborhood. An unfortunate reminder to keep your lights on, and lock your doors. So bummed…

Stolen Ornaments
Far North End FPF • Clover Lane • Jun 16, 2016
We had some lawn ornaments and 2 small white fences stolen from our front yard the night of June 14th has anyone else having the same problem we live on clover lane

One More Plant Gone
ONE West FPF • Lakeview Terr • Jun 16, 2016
My favorite, and only beautiful peach iris was stolen from my garden last week as well. Unlike one of our oh so kind neighbors, I do not feel sorry for the vandal and hope all his/her booty turns to dog doody.

Please Report Plant Thefts to BPD
ONE West FPF • North Ave • Jun 16, 2016
Hi neighbors – I’ve heard of over a dozen plant thefts in the ONE and surrounding area in the last week and got in touch with BPD this morning to make sure they were aware these are happening. If you’ve had plants stolen, please be in touch with them so that the full scope of the thefts is clear. You can call them at (802) 658-2704 (dial 0) or fill out their online incident report at‘; And if you see someone digging in a neighbor’s yard at night, please call the police! Let’s keep an eye out for each other. I know I appreciate the beauty of the plants people work hard to keep growing their yards and want to support their efforts.

Garden Vandalism
ONE West FPF • Lakeview Terrace • Jun 16, 2016
Plants pulled up on Lakeview Terrace also. Last night or I should say sometime between 1 and 5am Thursday morning. Ironically I had just returned from being away for a while, at 11 pm, looked at my street side garden in the moonlight and noticed a lily gifted to me several years ago full of buds. Imagine my surprise when it was totally gone this morning. Checking around neighbors had plants uprooted and stolen also. Minor compared to this crazy world but disappointing.

Plant Thief Visited Us Too
ONE West FPF • Manhattan Drive • Jun 16, 2016
The plant thief dug several plants from my front garden last night too. He/she took two plants I didn’t particularly care about and one large, lovely sedum that came with the house when we bought it. He/she used a car that was parked in front of our neighbor and left a dirt trail down the sidewalk.

Re: Garden Vandalism
ONE West FPF • Lakeview Terr • Jun 16, 2016
Following on Danielle’s post: same thing happened to us. Someone dug up 2 perennials from our front flower bed. I’m feeling pretty bad for the person who feels the need to steal flowers from gardens, and I’d love to help them by giving them more. No shortage of perennials around here. Please let me know if you know anything!

Plants Stolen
ONE Central FPF • Myrtle • Jun 15, 2016
Three sedum plants and multiple moon flower plants in bloom were stolen from my front garden in the past couple of days. I am so sorry the person chose to just take because I would have gladly dug some up to share, but not in the front where it ruins the garden for those who enjoy it while walking their dog or strolling by. I have alerted multiple neighbors and police to be watching for the culprit. It is definitely not an animal because specific plants were selected and removed, roots and all.

Garden Vandalism
ONE West FPF • Blodgett St • Jun 15, 2016
someone cut all my blooming peonies between last night and this evening on the corner of Blodgett and Ward. please let me know if you saw anyone. Thanks

Garden Vandalism
ONE West FPF • Pitkin St. • Jun 15, 2016
Sometime last night someone vandalized my front garden. An established shrub and two large perennials were completely removed, another shrub was cut back with a tool, plants were uprooted and left behind and a collection of frogs we had hidden in the garden were taken. It appears that whoever did this used a car because there was no dirt trail on the sidewalk leading anywhere. Not sure how anyone might prevent such a senseless act from happening to them but just thought I’d share the info. with folks.

Yep, Me Too. Stolen Plants – N. Union St
ONE East FPF • North Union St • Jun 10, 2016
We had a section about 4 feet wide along our fence line. They were common Daylilies. I too would have divided them up and given some away, but to take a huge chunk is mean and it looks terrible.

More Stolen Plants
ONE East FPF • N Union St • Jun 10, 2016
I also had plants dug up from my front yard. They were cheap petunias and Geraniums that I purchased for about $4.00 a plant. Whomever has been digging up plants must have really needed them?! Let’s hope they do a good job landscaping with their stolen flowers. I agree with a previous poster who said they would have gladly divided plants for those with limited budgets. While I am fairly sure they didn’t steal plants because they couldn’t afford to, maybe we can have a day in the spring where people can offer up extra plants in their garden so people who would like to landscape but have limited funds can? A way to make the ONE more beautiful.

Stolen Plants
Downtown FPF • College St • Jun 9, 2016
My plants were also stolen on Bradley on Thursday night. If you knock on my door I will gladly break up perennials for you to have. There is no need to steel. It was such a huge bummer to have my garden vandalized. I spend time and money on my front garden so that everyone in the neighborhood can enjoy it. A hex on your colon, plant thief!

Grrrrr, Plant Thief in the Night
ONE East FPF • N Prospect St • Jun 9, 2016
A small white rosa rugosa was stolen from the hell strip (the land between the sidewalk and the street) in front of our house on N Prospect St last night. Whether the thief believed it belonged to the city or to me, it remains a theft. May the branches of my fragrant rose prick your conscience for some time to come.

Stolen Flowers
ONE Central FPF • Bright St. • Jun 9, 2016
Someone dug up two lilies, two daffodils, and a dianthus from my front yard last night. Unbelievable. If I find you, I’m calling the police.

Plant Thief on Bradley St
Downtown FPF • Bradley • Jun 9, 2016
Gee, this is a new one for me: someone stole a planted perennial plant out of my front yard yesterday or the day before. Pretty bad karma since people garden for all kind of positive reasons. On the slim chance you’re the thief and read this, please take care of this one, it was a favorite. Also, next time just stop by the house and I’ll probably give you a clipping to grow. I’m going to tell myself that maybe this was a plant rescue since I’ve gotten behind in my weeding.

Missing Plant
ONE East FPF • Greene Street • Jun 8, 2016
I went out to work in my front garden today, and I noticed that one of my Coral Bell plants was missing. It appears to have been dug up and some of the dirt and mulch was replaced to cover the whole. I’m having a hard time figuring out why someone would do that, other than really wanting a new plant. I’m assuming that you wanted to make your yard more beautiful too and I really hope it was replanted in a lovely spotIn the future if you would really like a plant, knock on my door and ask me. I would be more than happy to divide one of my hostas for you. If you are reading this and you took my plant, I would be very grateful if you would return it.

Posted in: Front Porch Forum


  1. Marna says:

    This feels like the Twilight Zone

  2. Bonnie Beck says:


    Chief DelPozo wants me to reach out to all the victims of the plant thefts. Could you provide Victims’ emails? Thank you-

    Bonnie Beck
    Community Affairs Officer

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