Riverside residents: Porch pirates pilfering precious plants

Plants with special meaning disappear from porches, yards

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Riverside residents are voicing concern after plant poachers swiped greenery right out of their yards and off their front porches.

Home security system video captured one plant pirate picking a potted plant off someone's porch.

Several homeowners took to social media to voice their outrage. One person wrote, “They were just plants to some, but they were very special to me. One I cultured from a plant from my daughter’s funeral.”

The homeowners thought they were victims of isolated incidents until the full picture started coming together that the problem was neighborhood-wide.

Cynthia Dangerfield, who has lived in the Five Points area for 23 years, said her stag horn fern was stolen in broad daylight. She said it had been in a tree in front of her home for 20 years and weighed about 50 pounds.

“It was given to me by a family member who passed away,” Dangerfield said. “I have been loving that plant for more than 20 years and would really like to have it back, no questions asked.”

Dangerfield said she was disturbed the theft occurred just feet away from her front door.  

“It had been hanging on this tree for so long, it was embedded into the tree itself.  When they pulled it off, they stripped the bark,” Dangerfield said. “I hate to use the word violated, but it felt like somebody had no regard for my personal possession, space, safety, nothing.”

Just blocks away, dirt rings from where pots once sat show the evidence of another theft on Hannon Holland's steps.  

“I had someone come up on my stoop, had to pass my front door and living room windows, picking up these potted plants, and it’s happened multiple times,” Holland said.

Holland and Dangerfield said they did not report the thefts to police, but anyone with information can call the Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500.

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