Plant thieves striking in D.C. area

If you see empty plant boxes or pots, you might be looking at a crime scene. Plant theft is a chronic problem in D.C. But it gets worse this time of year.

For Kim Gilliam, thieves took more than her plants. Her patch of greenery represented a lot of toil.

“I've been nurturing this garden for five years and it was beautiful. And now it's not,” Gilliam said.

Just down the block from Gilliam's garden, there’s another empty space where flowers and shrubs used to be.

“I don't know if I can lock the plants down,” said District resident Ralph Sauls. “But I just do what I can.”

At the Old City Green garden shop, anything that isn’t locked in at night is at risk of vanishing. Frank Asher, from Old City Green, said someone had taken a machete and sliced all the flowers off and then dug up plants by the roots.

The question remains: Why are people stealing plants and what are they doing with them?

“I have no idea if it's somebody who just can’t afford plants and wants to bring something into their own yard or if it's another gardener?” Asher said.