San Jose neighbors say prized bushes chopped up, flowers stolen

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- A bizarre kind of vandalism is hitting the South Bay, and it's proving to be a thorny issue for residents. Vandals have been cutting up valuable plants, possibly for profit.

RELATED: Search underway for person chopping up beloved trees in San Jose

Neighbors in Willow Glen posted photos of bushes being hacked up. One woman's 50-year-old Camellia Bush had 18 branches hacked off, and all the cuttings taken away.

Other neighbors posted similar experiences, that's not all. A tarp covers part of another Camellia that was just vandalized this past weekend. Leticia Cowan came home to find half of the bush's prized foliage gone.

"There were the crocuses stolen from one person's yard," said Cowan. "Lemon tree foliage, camellias being hit. And there's quite a fair market value for these things."

Neighbors believe money may be the motive. This is wedding and graduation season and floral arrangements are in high demand. There may be shady florists or desperate brides and grooms hoping to save a few bucks.

Flower whole-sellers ABC7 News talked with say if that's true, it's despicable. "There's a lot of whole-sellers available for them to purchase the product," said Andrew Thien Vu. "So morally it's not right for people to go into other people's yards and destroy the garden and stuff like that."

In case you're wondering, one bundle of Camellia branches goes for about $6 wholesale.

San Jose police say if you notice any unusual plant or flower-cutting activity in your neighborhood, call them.
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