Watch CBS News

'Those Plants Were Doing Benefit': Plant Poachers Strike Again On Chicago's North Side

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Plant poachers caught on camera stealing from people's homes are striking a nerve with a lot of you around Chicago.

CBS 2 has been exposing the thieves for weeks now. CBS 2's Steven Graves is speaking to people in one North Side neighborhood so fed up, they are taking action.

In just days, Janice Horwich and Joanne Yonan plan to host the Graceland West neighborhood's Garden Walk.

They've been doing it for almost forty years.

But the idea that has sprouted into a large admiration of nature's beauty will not feature as much greenery this year.

"Eight or nine plants are gone."

The pair believes someone pilfered the plants at Belle Plaine and Greenview avenues over the past few months, the holes left behind were filled in with dirt.

"It's just heartbreaking because they took a big chunk of something we're giving free to the community," said Joanne Yonan.

The women's community group is now filing police reports, even starting Instagram posts.

Over the weeks, CBS 2 has exposed they are not the only victims. Videos showing plant poachers that are planting seeds of anger and concern all around Chicago.

Last week, a plant store owner assuming the culprits might be landscapers. While many of these stolen plants were just meant to beautify homes, in this case, thieves took a lot more than decorations.

Horwich says these plants were in place to provide solutions for storm water runoff and bring in a diversity of bird and insect species.

"We're being very strategic because of climate change," she said. "Those plants were doing benefit. It's taken them a long time to get them to the point they are."

Ben Conley, a volunteer, was the most recent to have his eco-friendly patch of plants destroyed.

"This is love and time and money that we're all putting into our neighborhood," Conley said.

As neighborhood residents hope to keep blooming with pride, even if a few rotten acts try to mess it up.

Chicago Police have not said if there is a surge in plant thefts, but they are urging people to report the crime to 311.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.