Pissed about petunias

Here’s a guy who actually did what I’ve joked about: monitored his flowers with security cameras. But after losing his petunias three times this summer, who could blame him?

This important news story comes to us from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.* Reportedly, Jack W. Peters, owner of Peters Electric, got so mad after being repeatedly jacked that he posted this message on his sign: “FLOWER THIEF WE HAVE YOUR PICTURE CALL 854-5800.” I am guessing the thief has not dialed in.

Peters told the paper he was first hit in late May, but assumed evil yewts were just messing with him. He spent another $35 on petunias and replanted them in front of his company’s roadside sign. In late June, they disappeared again. Peters and his office manager rolled through their security footage, shot from a camera that covers the business’ parking lot, and saw two jacks, one at 9:30 p.m. on June 29 and one at midnight on July 5. Both times, what looked like a woman pulled up and yanked the flowers out of the dirt, without tools, stashing them in her car. The first time she drove a light-colored four-door sedan and the second time, a dark larger car, possibly an SUV. She was in and out in under 90 seconds.

Peters said he’s lived and worked in the area for 22 years and started planting flowers outside his business years ago to beautify the area and blend in with nearby residences. A worthy goal. This is the first year he’s been jacked. After the third theft, he said he gave up and reported his sad saga to the police. He declined their offer to investigate, however, choosing instead to to discourage/freak the thief out with his threatening sign.

Once he posted the message on his sign, he said, other victims came forward. (I see a new support group forming. Victims of Flower Jacking?)

Peters said he was angry about the thefts, but it’s also become an office joke, with employees suggesting exploding dye packets or electric shock fences. (I like it!) But he’s done gardening for the year, he said… and already hatching plans to install a special flower cam next spring.

I wonder if this crap economy is motivating desperate gardeners to pilfer from others? Or do people just suck? (Probably both.)

I’m glad no one’s messed with my patio petunias. In fact, I am happy to report the Yarrow is my only flower jack this year (so far). It’s mid-August. I think that’s pretty good. (Though a neighbor just had her car broken into and a kid’s bike stolen off her porch.)

I just have the terrorizing toddler to contend with!

My petunia pilferer

(This story comes to us from my observant friend and master Charlestown High School history diva Amy Piacitelli, who happens to be visiting Pittsburgh right now and spotted it on the local news. Thanks  Amy P!)


About plantkiller

Paysha Rhone is a wife, mother, former-journalist-turned-PR-maven and bad mamajama killing plants in the Victorian splendor of Fitchburg, Massachusetts.
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