Man nabbed for stealing plants

Illegal plant sales on Spaanchemat River Road.

A 56-year-old man suspected of being behind a series of plant thefts in the southern suburbs was arrested at his Spaanschemat River Road home last week.

Fish Hoek Station commander, Lieutenant Colonel Jackie Johnson, said the man was arrested on Wednesday morning August 15, following a joint operation between Fish Hoek police and Nova Constantia Crime Watch (NCCW), which is part of the Constantia Neighbourhood Watch.

It’s believed the arrest is linked to a case opened in January by a Fish Hoek man regarding a stolen pot plant, but despite several enquiries by the Bulletin, Fish Hoek police could not identify the type of plant that was allegedly stolen or explain how that case was linked to the bust at Spaanschemat River Road.

Lieutenant Colonel Johnson said they had found 240 plants and a laptop for which the man did not have the password.

From pictures taken by the neighbourhood watch the plants included: clivia miniata (bush lily), tree aloes, euphorbia tirucalii (pencil plants) and various succulents.

The suspect had allegedly been selling aloes and other plants from the roadside outside his house for the past year according to a neighbour.

Earlier this week the neighbour reported that the plants were still on show and had not been confiscated.

Mayco member for area south, Eddie Andrews, said informal trading was not allowed on Spaanschemacht River Road in Constantia.

Lieutenant Colonel Johnson said the man had appeared in Simon’s Town Magistrate’s Court the following day on charges of theft.

Paul Gordon, co-owner of Ferndale Nursery in Constantia, said the bright orange clivia miniata sell for R70 and the yellow flower specimen for R120.

They can be lifted and transplanted easily and can be laid out the ground for up to a week if stored in a cool place.

Larger tree aloes would sell from R1 500 upwards and small euphorbia tirucalii (pencil plants) would sell for R165 and larger specimens for R485.

Mr Gordon said succulents in 15cm and 23cm pots range in price from R27 up to R105 while aloes in 10kg bag start from R129 upwards.

If you have recently had plants stolen from your garden or verge, contact Detective Constable Rose Dlamini at Fish Hoek police at 021 784 2721, or email her at fishhoekcid@saps.org.za