Palm Beach Daphne McDonald has urged Council to install security cameras to stem a growing problem of plant theft from public gardens and plant beds across Palm Beach.
From the Gold Coast Bulletin
Stealing plants from Gold Coast city garden beds is such a deeply rooted problem the council is prepared to go out on a limb and install security cameras in a bid to nip it in the bud.
At least 10 plants a week are taken from council garden beds and thieves have become so brazen they stole some from the entrance to the council’s main administration building at Evandale.
Now the council wants to use security cameras to catch the thieves in the act and name and shame them.
Council figures show that more than 500 plants are stolen from city parks, gardens, roundabouts and road verges each year, costing ratepayers more than $6000.
And it’s not just plants that are being targeted, with planted turf and mulch also on the thieves shopping list.
In the latest incident, newly planted succulents were stolen from a Palm Beach Avenue garden bed, enraging local councillor, Daphne McDonald.
Cr McDonald warned the light-fingered plant lovers they would be caught and punished.
“After the first part of the beautification of Palm Beach Avenue we are experiencing a high number of plant thefts at the top end of the street which comes at a considerable cost to the ratepayers and is something we clearly want to stop,” she said.
“It has happened in other areas of the city, even outside the entrance of the council administration building.
“I have asked the officers to install a mobile CCTV camera and when these people are caught I will have their photos displayed.
“This is so disappointing that someone in our community would do this and I urge residents to report any of this type of activity as it is their hard-earned cash that is paying for this.”
In February, a large 17-year-old staghorn fern was stolen from the Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens at Benowa.
The fern had been donated by a resident and was worth several hundred dollars but was never recovered.
Gold Coast police Superintendent Michele Stenner said police took the matter of plant theft seriously.
“If incidents such as these are reported we will look into it thoroughly,” she said.
“There are some very expensive plants out there and police will work with the council to put preventive measures in place.
“Without CCTV it is pretty hard for us to track anyone down but if witnesses do come forward, we can work with the council to have the plants returned to their rightful soil.”
Anyone who has information about thefts is urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333000.