Dogwood thefts proliferate with spring bloom | April 20, 2012 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - April 20, 2012

Dogwood thefts proliferate with spring bloom

Flowering branches can bring big money for thieves, experts say

by Sue Dremann

The two prowlers in Jim O'Sullivan's yard could have been burglars, but they weren't interested in stealing what was in his house, he soon discovered. O'Sullivan spotted the men attempting to take branches from a dogwood tree on his Webster Street property in Palo Alto in broad daylight, he said.

This story contains 883 words.

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Posted by KP, a resident of South of Midtown
on Apr 20, 2012 at 10:54 am

It's the florists that could stop the whole problem - supply & demand. Pretty simple.

Posted by Enough!, a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Apr 20, 2012 at 10:55 am

NOW I have an explanation why, when I came outside this morning, I found major tree trimmings, branches etc, lying on the trunk of my car. I was in a hurry to get to work, looked up at the tree, thought it looked sparse, but didn't have time to investigate more. The car is parked on the street, and I came home at 9pm last this happened between 9pm and 10am. Losers. Creeps. Jerks. GOD I'm SO tired of scum.

Posted by Gethin, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 20, 2012 at 12:04 pm

The fascinating thing about America is that there are an endless number of creative ways to make a living and equally broad opportunities for criminals to ply their trade. Not even flowering trees are safe.

Posted by Gardener , a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 20, 2012 at 12:31 pm

At those prices this is grand theft.

Posted by Hulkamania, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 20, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Motion-sensor lights, trip wires and security guards are a start. How about a few punji stick pits? That should keep the theft rate down.

Posted by Farmer Brown, a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 20, 2012 at 1:50 pm

This same story will be played out with the fruit trees later. Some people have no respect for others property and think that if they can see it in the front yard, they can pick it. I woke up one night to find two elderly women filling bags off my lemon tree. When I turned on the light they scuttled into a big Mercedes and drove off. Probably an 80K car and their taking my lemons. Unreal.

Posted by LARK, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 20, 2012 at 3:52 pm

Farmer Brown Do you use all of your lemons?

Posted by Sally, a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 20, 2012 at 4:36 pm

LARK, Do you use all of your money?

Posted by anonymous, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 20, 2012 at 4:40 pm

What r u implying...if Farmer Brown DOESN'T immediately use all his lemons -- emphasize HIS lemons -- that means random persons in Mercedes cars are entitled to strip his tree of fruit?!
Come on, now.
No harm in ringing a bell at a reasonable hour, if you are a neighbor, to INQUIRE if the owner wouldn't mind sharing some fruit (IF it appeared for some reason the tree/hedge/bush was getting overladen and overripe and unpicked), BUT the owner is under NO OBLIGATION WHATSOEVER to agree to strangers' demands for his property. The gall of some people around here. I suppose the excuse of the Mercedes ladies is that it would go to a church. That doesn't justify theft.

Posted by Farmer Brown, a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 20, 2012 at 5:53 pm

LARK: Yes, I do. I use every single one in exactly the way I choose. Most are consumed or used for cooking, many are regular gifts to family and neighbors, and even the rotten drop offs go into my composter and eventually back into my yard... except the one's that were stolen.

Now, if I would have said "No" what would your reply have been? I'd LOVE to hear it.

Posted by midtown journalist, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 23, 2012 at 1:57 pm

This story needed a good editor with better news judgement. The headline says thefts "proliferate," but the story quotes one victim and a police officer talking about a wave of dogwood thefts ten years ago. That is not proliferation today. One theft is not a news story. If there are other current cases, the reporter should have found them and included them. If there are not, this story should have been killed, however terrible the experience was for Mr. O'Sullivan. His run-in with the dogwood theives is worth a news brief. But it is not enough to support a story framed as reporting on a new crime wave.