Who’s Stealing Plants Off Main St. In Blytheville, AR?

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(Blytheville, AR) "Rip and run" plant thieves are causing a problem along Main Street in Blytheville, Ark.

It's been going on for a couple of months and more than one business owner has reported plants missing.

Volunteers who spend their time and money beautifying Blytheville are frustrated.

Pat O'Neal is a member of the Mississippi County Master Gardeners.

"We kind of think it may be someone that's landscaping their yard," O'Neal said.

She chuckles at her remark, but knows there's nothing funny about someone stealing plants, specifically young rose bushes, from Main Street in Blytheville.

"I guess they don't want the real mature ones. They must have too many stickers," she said.

On almost every corner you'll see large concrete planters owned by the City of Blytheville, but decorated by Master Gardeners and other local volunteers.

"From crape myrtles and roses to petunias and potato vines," O'Neal said.

Master Gardeners provides plants, mulch and hard work.

O'Neal recently noticed rose bushes were missing from some of the planters. First one, then two, then more,

"Well, they're $20 a piece when you buy them at one of the local vendors. And so that kind of adds up," she said.

So far, it's cost more than $100 to volunteers who just want to help Blytheville look beautiful.

And it turns out the thieves are  "branching" out, targeting some businesses along Main Street.

Grassroots Hair Salon and Tanning just opened two months ago, and owners spent a lot of money to landscape their property.

But as many as thirteen plants were recently pulled up and taken.

McKenzie Ramsdell is a hair stylist who noticed the problem when she came to work one morning.

"There was just a lot of holes in the ground. I mean like where plants use to be. It was kind of strange to notice all the plants were gone," she said.

Ramsdell says the owner of Grassroots is trying something unique to catch the plant thieves,

"She put a thing on Facebook saying that if anybody could tell her who did it, she'd give them free tanning for a year," Ramsdell said.

Blytheville Police would like to hear from anyone who's seen plants being removed from Main Street without authorization.