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Beginner Gardening: Anyone know of an anti theft plant alarm?

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Forum: Beginner GardeningReplies: 12, Views: 237
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San Diego, CA

October 1, 2011
3:07 PM

Post #8831957

I suspect yard maintenance people are stealing from me and other neighbors regularly.
Always seems to be after I go to bed around 4 or 5am and when I get up to help my diabetic cat at 9am the plants are gone.
Also solar lights are all gone and the thief reaches what's closest to the sidewalk or street. Takes anywhere from 1 to 3 plants at a time and I don't know when he cleaned me out of my hard to find color changing and amber solar lights
Motion detector lights only work at night and another victim installed some too with no help.
Motion alarms are too broad in their range and would pick up everyone walking by or even skunks or dogs too.
Any advice is greatly appreciated. I have a beautiful and rare garden and cops just take reports and don't do anything.
Cameras don't help when no one would see a license plate and neighbors seeing a yard worker with plants don't think twice about it. One lady lost 6 rose bushes and spray painted them at the base with bright orange. Still hasn't helped. Another put up a camera but not sure if she's had a recurrence. If I don't plant new plants every week they've already stolen rare established plants.
Can hit me 2 times in the same wk. I plant on Sunday and they hit between Mon and Wed

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San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)

June 16, 2012
4:13 AM

Post #9167224

Whatever happened with this? Did the thefts stop? I just came home last night to find the top of my plumeria plant sliced cleanly off and stolen. What scares me is that I was only gone a few hours and I'm normally home most of the time. I go in and out a lot, checking on my garden, doing little things when I'm home. It had to be one of my neighbors who saw me leave and knew I was gone. It gives me the creeps that people would be so bold as to do things like steal your plants and solar lights and walk up my driveway right next to my house and steal my plumeria. I guess the only thing to do at this point is either install a camera and/or move most of what I can to the backyard where they can't be stolen. :(
Vicksburg, MS
(Zone 8a)

June 17, 2012
1:08 PM

Post #9168915

If you can afford it, you could install one of the motion activated water devices used to scare deer away from gardens. The culprit may still get away with some of your flowers but you'd at least have had the fun of giving him/her a good shower before they leave! A security camera to catch a picture of the culprit while they are being soaked might be neat to have so you could post it on Facebook too. I don't understand what these type of people get out of their petty theft.
Standish, MI

June 17, 2012
2:50 PM

Post #9169048

I suggest planting Nettles and Poison Ivy in a few planters. Only kidding!
San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)

June 17, 2012
7:11 PM

Post #9169397

Hehe, good ideas! The problem with the water sprayer (and I have thought about that option for a few years) is that it would spray me too (and the poor UPS man!) heh. Not cool when I forget its there and I'm heading out the door to a dressy occasion. ;) I also think a little water wouldn't deter the person I suspect did this. I love the idea of the camera and I hope to do that. It would really help too with our ongoing solicitor problem who are not deterred by no-soliciting signs (argh!). Believe me, I've thought about the nettles and poison ivy (and I used to have a big stand of vicious-looking cactus) but once again, it would probably hurt me more than anyone, just trying to maintain it. Most of my tresspassers seem to just walk boldly up my driveway and front walk. One thing I have done that has really cut down on tresspassing and inconsiderate people cutting across the yards is the colossal rose border I put in. Mutabilis roses get HUGE here very quickly and it caused that individual who I suspect stole my plumeria, an awkward and possiby painful trip through that rose border so as to avoid walking up my driveway in clear sight of everyone, haha. Nothing beats good old-fashioned rose thorns for security. ;)

I enclosed a photo of part of the rose border - it's filled in now on either end to make an almost cotinuous border and this particular bush is much larger now.

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Vicksburg, MS
(Zone 8a)

June 18, 2012
5:42 AM

Post #9169699

Good idea with those roses! It's really sad though that good people like you have to resort to planting things you might not have otherwise chosen just to keep people from stealing your flowers. So sad that we have to share the world with such "people." Oh well, the roses are a gorgeous addition to your yard.
Opp, AL
(Zone 8b)

June 18, 2012
9:34 AM

Post #9169968

Yard maintenance people? Guess it's easier to maintain if there's no plants. Easy to catch them with motion sensor hooked to a camera, and a light. I don't understand why catching this on camera wouldn't be the end of it. So you get a few pics of dogs or people walking by. No harm done. Unless they're trying to hide, they would appreciate the light. Unless there's a rogue plant thief who does nothing but cruise for plants to steal in the wee hours, it's got to be somebody who saw the plants while working or visiting there, then came back for them. Or it could be one of your neighbors. I think catching them on camera would seal the deal for catching them, though. Somebody close by...


Prairieville, LA
(Zone 9a)

June 18, 2012
11:20 AM

Post #9170154

Yuccas and Pyracanthas would also work...but what a sad state of affairs when neighbors steal your plants. There is a device called a Driveway annunciator. It sets off a buzzer/alarm in the house whenever anyone comes up the driveway. Granted, you may get some animal induced false alarms, but imagine a person's surprise when you greet them with the flash from your camera...and the devices are not terribly expensive.
Gilmer, TX
(Zone 8b)

June 18, 2012
2:39 PM

Post #9170470

Install a fake camera and put up signs/stickers on windows that say "These premises are video surveillance protected"...or get a mean dog.
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

June 18, 2012
7:57 PM

Post #9170925

If this is a problem for more than you in your street / road, then set up a neighbour-hood -watch team to take turns at lookout,
The alarm signs are also a deterent IF you position these at the point of entry to your property.
A note in your local paper to ask ALL people to watch out for the plant thieves and add that it has gotten so bad the neighbours have now had to take photografic actions to catch the culprit's.
Name the plants that have been stolen and ask anyone to report IF they have had recent garden / landscape work done then, go have a look at the plants they have had set in their beds etc.
You will be surprised at all the friendly folk you will meet by reporting such horrible actions.

We had lots of plants dug up (with lables and price ticket ) when we were in the prosses of building our home, these people even took my wheel barrow to carry all the plants away. The plants taken were always the more expensive type like Rhododendrons, Camilias, Tulip trees etc, it was so sad as it eventually amounted to lot's of money, once we were moved in and around more, this practice stopped but I still pass a garden and wonder of that lovely plant was one of mine ha, ha, ha.
Good luck, hope you find the culprit soon. WeeNel.
(Zone 5a)

June 24, 2012
1:46 PM

Post #9178814

geez what jerks there are in the world!

A techy solution might be to set up a webcam to watch the area, and play a sound on your computer when it detects motion. I did this for bird watching for fun once. I tried 2 programs... BLue Iris and HomePatrol I can't remember why I switched to one. There are a lot of programs on but I wanted ones which had audio..

Anyway, in the settings, you can draw a circle around the area you want to detect, so it won't be affected by other things in the corners of the screen. It also has sensitivity options to prevent blowing branches from setting it off... but it could also make it difficult to detect a person.
Spring City, TN

June 26, 2012
6:13 PM

Post #9182626

A trail camera like hunters use (trail-cam) can take snapshots based on movement, even with infrared. They store on a digital card which can be viewed through a digital camera card reader on your computer. Found my trail cam for about $60 and gave the printed snapshots to an officer who convinced my neighbor that YES their dogs were coming over to my house and tipping trashcans when they let them out to roam every night late and here's the picture, jerk. They kept the dog up after that. Also nice to see what four-leggeds visit at night. Never knew we had foxes or coyotes around here, but I have seen them now! LOL.
Dunnellon, FL
(Zone 9a)

July 3, 2012
11:04 AM

Post #9191430

I agree with gardenworm2! Ever heard of a manchineel apple tree? The crooks would run like chickens when they touched this little devil! Look it up here .
Even standing below this tree when it is raining can poison you!
I call it "Organic Peacekeeping"!

Good luck,


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