Maple Ridge Thief Caught On Tape Uprooting Plants From Flower Bed

Friday, June 8th 2012, 5:19 pm
By: News On 6

A bizarre string of thefts has homeowners in midtown on alert.

Someone has been stealing flowers and plants straight from the gardens surrounding their homes.

There's a peaceful grace to the flower gardens in Tulsa's Maple Ridge neighborhood.

But the past month has been very difficult on Stephen Smith's garden, and it has nothing to do with the weather.

" It's hard to say why people do what they do," Smith said.

Three times in the last four weeks, someone has stolen his flowers and plants, more than 50 in all.

You can still see the hole left when a flower was yanked from the ground and the bed was covered by Purple Heart Flower, but now it's half gone.

"They don't really care," Smith said. "They're just out for their own personal gain."

If Smith looks familiar, that's because we call him the "Dirt Dude," our Six In The Morning green thumb.

That's right, the guy who teaches Tulsa about flowers and plants has had his personal garden attacked.

"Which, sort of, leaves me to believe, I wonder, maybe, somebody might have an issue with me." Smith said. "I hope not, but you never know.

Smith says his neighbors have reported other, similar thefts of small, outdoor items so they're not sure if the suspect is replanting them and decorating their own home or selling them at a flea market.

Smith was able to snap a picture of the suspect. It appears to be a woman holding a plant and standing near his garden early in the morning.

He's so upset he placed a sign in a flower bed -- part of which needed to be censored -- in a desperate move he admits to find whomever is responsible.

"Like the sign says, ‘Are you that poor?' Are you stooping this low to steal other people's stuff?" Smith said. "I mean, what's going through your mind? I'd just like to know what their thought process was."

Smith asks anyone who has information to call Tulsa Police.

He says if they simply want plants to ask personally and he might be able to help out.