Is there an Increase in Landscaping Theft?

Mini palm tree chopped down in Santa Barbara's westside neighborhood (edhat reader photo)

After years of saving money we decided to landscape our front yard and the curb area’s of our Westside home earlier this year.

Within a week of completion, some of the new flagstone we installed by the sidewalk was dug up during the evening hours.

Newly installed flagstone stolen from a Westside home (edhat reader photo)

Now, about a month later, someone decided to chop down our adorable mini palm tree (see the above photo). It’s a clean cut and appears to be done with a chainsaw.

Is this a growing trend happening around town or have we never noticed because our yard used to be less than desirable?

Edhat Reader

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    • Looking at the size of the trunk and the OP stating it was small and recently planted, I cannot fathom someone cutting it down due to “visibility.” If it was a rare varietal it could have a decent price tag on it.

    • I’ve had friends around town who recently added landscaping to have some rather expensive plants ripped up or cut down. Likely people were scoping out the work ahead of time and went at night to cut it down and resell or reuse for their own clients. Pretty awful. My tip has been to plant things that are less desirable and abundant.

  1. Whoever cut down your little palm tree couldn’t then grow it somewhere else, you can’t root a palm trunk! So that was not a a theft, more like vandalism. Maybe what Minibeast suggests is true, that someone thought it was blocking their view? Anyway, just destructive behavior but not theft. But the flagstones, that is so petty and nasty. Very sorry. We have had fruit stolen, also occasional garden tools that were left out and shouldn’t have been, over the years. No uptick recently.

  2. This amazes me. There are so many people who feel entitled to take whatever they want. Years ago, my family was on vacation in the Sierras, and we saw some people digging up manzanita plants near the road and putting them in their pickup truck. Crazy.

  3. For what its worth, planting trees in the parkway is not allowed except with city OK. Planting in the parkway is restricted to a low height and people should be able to use the parkway to exit vehicles and such. Not sure what the city would do if called upon to enforce these rules. On the other hand, I have taken clippers with me to cut branches that people failed to control when these intruded across the sidewalk from hedges and trees impeding foot traffic. People are often unaware or insensitive to the things they do not see from the other person’s perspective. (As noted, the tree thing is not a theft as no one can grow it again.)

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