Stolen succulents stun North Park restaurant

Posted at 4:45 PM, Aug 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-11 20:25:55-04

SAN DIEGO - A North Park restaurant's attempt to beautify the neighborhood has exposed an ugly truth.

A thief stole succulents affixed to the "living wall" built outside Encontro North Park, at 30th Street and University Avenue. The restaurant, which opened nine months ago, built the wall to make the neighborhood nicer.

"We want North Park to be beautiful," said Katie Geppert, the restaurant's general manager. "North Park is an absolutely beautiful community of people, but it's been a little rough."

The thief stole five of the plants from the wall, about 20 feet from Encontro's front door. Geppert said they were about $250 combined, including installation, but that it's not about the price.

Now, they're affixing the remaining succulents to the wall with bolts, not brackets.

Geppert posted a sign warning that if the thief doesn't come forward within 24 hours, surveillance video is going to the police.

"I posted that about two weeks ago," Geppert said.

She also said that the surveillance camera above the wall was pointed toward the front door, so it didn't catch the thief in action. She took that sign down on Thursday.

"We still have faith in the community that people are good and that after seeing our sign, and after seeing this, that people will leave them alone," Geppert said.

Now, she said the restaurant will install a new surveillance camera that is aimed over the living wall.