Apr. 26th, 2007

gerbera daisy

I can't think of a subject stupid enough

I backed out of the backyard into the alley this morning -- naturally, we're parking out back these days -- and was detoured when I got to the end of the alley by Morgan Park Place construction blocking my normal route out to I-65. So I didn't drive by the front of our house, as I like to do each morning.

Ten minutes later, I got a call from Karsten asking if I'd driven by the front of the house this morning. Strange that he should ask, I thought. No, why?

Well, apparently, someone nicked seven boxwoods from our front yard garden.

Let me just repeat that. Some clever burglar determined it worth his or her while to yank boxwood shrubs out of our garden. Small ones! I mean, have you seen our garden? I'm definitely not claiming it's the most splendorous garden in all of the South or anything, but it's got some pretty nice plants in it. The underwhelming hedge we've been attempting to grow with a bunch of young boxwood plants is pretty much the least appealing thing in the yard. And this wasn't just a random act of boredom -- someone took the time to grab seven of these things.

Now of course after explaining all of that, I'll admit that I'm now dreading the disappearance of nicer plants in the garden -- they're sure to be the next to go.

Karsten and I have been told by folks who've lived in the neighborhood for a while that plant thefts used to be more common when some vendors at the Farmer's Market used to buy plants from folks off the street to resell them, no questions asked. We've heard that this practice has been discontinued, so I have no idea what the boxwood thief is planning to do with the young shrubs. By ripping them out of the ground as he or she apparently did, the thief probably shocked them enough that they won't do well when replanted (especially since pretty much all vegetation is still in recovery mode from the Great Easter Freeze), so if the idea was to plant the boxwoods, it's not likely to be a happy outcome. Maybe I'm mean-spirited, but somehow that makes me feel a little better.

Also worth noting is that, a few weeks ago, someone apparently stole a young but still pretty large tree from the front yard of the house next door (which is for sale -- the missing tree was noticed about an hour before they were having an open house). Earlier that day, I'd seen a guy riding by on a bike carrying a shovel. Not to say that's related, but it could be. Apparently it wouldn't be the first plant theft in the neighborhood involving a getaway bike, believe it or not.

We were already planning to install a period-appropriate iron hoop-and-spear fence, but all this makes me want to get right on it. (We already have enough motivation because of the bird feeders that keep getting stolen.) Karsten's calling the guy today to see when we could get started.

Dec. 29th, 2006

birds

Counted too soon: another couple of bird feeders gone

Yesterday when I posted my year in review stats, I briefly thought the 28th of December was just a tad too soon to wrap up the year. And then I dismissed that thought with a snort.

Well, my anal-retentive detail-oriented nature turned out to be right, because the number of bird feeders stolen this year has now increased by three. One of them was only a cheap suet cage, and the other two were relatively inexpensive, but the feeders themselves were still worth about $30 combined and they were full of feed, so that's another $10 or so.

And it's not the money anyway. Putting out feed for the birds isn't all that cheap a hobby even if nothing ever got stolen, so I'm prepared for a little expense here and there. It's the principle of it. As I mentioned in one of the previous posts about stolen feeders, we originally set up these feeders as a sort of memorial to my dad, who loved feeding the birds. Every time we lose one, I wish the thieves could be cursed with knowing the grief they're inflicting. (And now the number of posts tagged "dad" just went up by one, too.)

Actually, I realized that I underestimated the stolen bird feeder number anyway -- it was three the first time, and four the next time (three the day I wrote about it and one the day before). So it should have said seven yesterday, and it'll say 10 when I update it.

These were in our back yard and along the side of the house. I don't know why, but the theft of stuff from our back yard feels more invasive than the theft of stuff from our front yard. Well, yeah, I guess I do know why: the front is so public and accessible, and people walk by on the sidewalk all the time, and it's only a few steps off the sidewalk to anywhere in the front yard. It's hard to really secure anything, and somehow I just accept that now. But to get to where the feeders were in the back you have to come clear across our back yard -- not huge, but a good deal more than a few steps -- from the alley and right up next to the house. It's even more invasive that they went along the side of the house, right next to our bedroom window. That all feels pretty creepy to me.

And I haven't reported it to the police because every time I call in one of these petty thefts, the person on the phone (not sure if the person who answers the non-emergency line is an officer or an operator or what) acts like I'm annoying them with trivialities. I'm certainly not looking for police action or for an officer to come to my house or anything, but in my mind, even the little stuff like this matters in case a pattern evolves and can be linked with larger thefts or break-ins. But from the way the police act over the phone, you'd think I was reporting that someone looked at my cat funny and I want them arrested.

Anyway, I'm irritated beyond belief.

Jun. 25th, 2006

birds

Bird feeders stolen AGAIN - email to our neighbors

Germantown & Salemtown friends,

After losing several bird feeders to theft a few months ago and taking elaborate measures to secure what remained, this morning Karsten and I discovered our bird feeder pole and remaining feeders were gone. Not only gone, but the thief or thieves apparently got frustrated trying to remove them intact and bent the pole back and forth to break it off near the ground.

And actually, we were forewarned: yesterday we found that a small feeder had been stolen from the south side of the house, and the handle on one of the secured feeders in the front yard was twisted, as if someone had tried to break it off from the pole.

Not only are we frustrated at the property loss (the last theft included about $60 worth of feeders -- this time, the dollar value is more like $150), but it's upsetting on a much more significant level: the feeders were a memorial of sorts to my father, who always loved feeding the birds in his own yard.

Anyway, I filed a police report, and I'm letting you all know so you can be aware of the trend. You probably already know to secure your possessions, but here's a disappointing reminder to be extra cautious.

Take care and be safe,

- Kate O' at [home address]

Apr. 2nd, 2006

words fail me, hobbes

Low-down thing to do

Someone stole our bird feeders. Can you believe that shit?

We were out for a walk this afternoon, and got back around 6 PM -- I can remember church bells ringing as we approached our block. And in between then and 10 minutes ago, while it was thunderstorming, someone ripped off three of our four bird feeders from the front yard (a tube feeder, a finch feeder, and a hummingbird feeder). Neither of the two tube feeders on the side of the house are missing, nor are any of the three feeders in the back yard. But the ones in the front were the nicest, which was probably stupid, but it made us happy to look out and see them out there. Now they're gone, dammit.

I phoned in a police report -- the woman who took down the information probably thought I was crazy to be reporting such a minor theft, but hey, they came to over $70 value together, so that's not nothing -- and Karsten and I went out to look around and see if maybe someone just threw them aside. We saw footprints and were able to see how the person crossed the yard, but it didn't tell us anything more than that. And then it started raining again, so even if it was valuable evidence, it's gone now.

I'm just so incredibly disappointed in people who would steal bird feeders from someone else's yard. It's not like they're stealing food or other necessities -- it's just a plain ugly thing to do.

Good thing I was already in a bad mood, so this isn't really ruining it.
hand on head - b&w

February 2011

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