Plant thief targets San Francisco's Duboce Triangle


Someone has been taking expensive potted plants, including small trees, from the sidewalk gardens on Walter Street.

YouTube video shows the man caught in the act, stealing from sidewalk gardens. One plant owner has captured the thief on camera at least twice -- once late last month and again just over a week ago.

"I think he sees plants in the daytime he wants to take," theft victim Patrick Santana said. "He comes back at night with a bag, a tarp, and he digs them up really fast with his hands throws them in a tarp or carries them off with his hands and leaves a dirt trail."

He believes the responsible party is from the neighborhood.

"That's a heavy load," Santana said. "If you're not local, you don't want to carry a tree that size and a root ball that size. And if you have a car, you're going to throw it right in the car and go. So I think he's a neighbor. The fact that we've been losing plants for a year and a half also suggests that it's local."

Neighbors say the thief is selective, taking only the more expensive plants.

One woman lost a total of 20 plants and then installed security lighting.

Neighbors say the thief broke all the lights and continued to steal more plants.

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