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Plant thief targets Poway business, other thefts nearby

Posted at 5:19 PM, Sep 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-27 21:29:36-04

POWAY, Calif. (KGTV) - He's got sticky fingers and a green thumb. A business owner says his Poway office has been repeatedly burglarized by a thief who steals plants, among other things.

The man snatched succulents and pilfered a large plumeria in his latest visit to the Poway business on Adrian Street near Midland Road on Wednesday around 11:30 p.m., according to owner Tom Belway.

The grab-and-go gardener also disabled a surveillance camera and removed sensor lights, he said.

"This is the sixth or seventh time they have swept the property for any 'loose' items," Belway wrote on social media. "Previously they stole propane tanks, rocking chairs, construction materials and plants. One visit they had all of our outdoor furniture staged at the fence but they must have been interrupted."

Down the street at the Park Church on Midland Road, pastor Andrew Henneforth said his church has been hit twice over the past two weeks.

He said in the first incident, someone broke into a camper trailer and stole landscaping equipment and propane tanks.

The second time, the thief hopped a fence and took a bicycle. There was a skateboard and drugs left behind, the pastor said.

"In this situation, am I a victim? Sure," Henneforth said. "But in some ways he's kind of a victim as well -- to addiction, to substance abuse."

The church added security cameras after the second incident, he said.

It's not clear if the two cases are related. Investigators tested a bottle of root beer left at church for DNA, the pastor said.

Anyone with information should call the San Diego Sheriff's Office or Crime Stoppers.