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Plant Caper Caught on Tape, Thief Steals Greenery Outside Skillman Avenue Store

Photo: Saturday

Photo: Saturday

Sept. 9, 2015 By Christian Murray

Fed up with cigarette butts, poop bags and beer cans strewn all over the tree pit near his store, Skillman Pets (49-16 Skillman Avenue) owner Abdel Rios decided it was time to clean up the eyesore.

On Saturday, Rios picked up the trash, put down fresh soil and decided to beautify the tree pit with nine plants that he bought from Home Depot.

Tuesday

Tuesday

“It took me hours and it looked great,” Rios said. He had planted some ivy and other plants that he thought would survive winter and grow in nicely next summer.

But his plans went hopelessly awry, when he discovered Tuesday afternoon that the plants had been swiped.

The tree pit was barren and there were holes from where he had put down the plants.

Irritated, Rios called the police and started to review footage from his surveillance camera.

He discovered that at 4 am Tuesday a woman walked up the street in flip flops and stuffed a paper bag with the plants. The footage–provided by Rios–is below.

Location of tree pit

Location of tree pit

Rios said that it is clear that the middle-aged woman had spotted the plants before hand and then came out during the night.

“She even looked over her shoulder just before she pulled them out.”

“I can’t understand the mentality of this; it’s so wrong,” he said. “I know it isn’t a big crime but this is one of neighbors doing this to us; it’s so wrong.”
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49 Comments

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A.Bundy

well, one way to get rid of this problem is to maximize gentrification. triple the rents and raise property value to the point where these bums cant afford to walk our streets.

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NeL

I’m no psychic but something tells me she has a dog which uses that tree as a bidet; because who the hell is hard up for $20 worth of home depot / lowes flowers. Keep an eye on that camera and you’ll find her walking her dog..

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picturo

I used to maintain a garden on 47th Ave. Garden theft is extremely common in Sunnyside. Ours was continually hit. The hydrangea blooms were cut off like clockwork each year. I even saw a mother teach her daughter to pick flowers from our private yard. When you put all of the hard work and money that is necessary into beautifying this neighborhood with a garden, it is extremely disheartening to see people steal plants and flowers. Theft transforms what was something everyone could look at into joy for only one very selfish person. I hope they find this rotten woman.

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Owen May

This footage appears to be from a hand-held (i.e. not mounted) camera. You can tell by the border of the frame being shaky. Assuming as much, why didn’t the individual shooting this call her out?

I am long ago ex of your neighborhood now living in Wisconsin. Keep up the fight, but it is a shame that caring neighbors need tolerate scum like this in their midst. We live in crappy times.

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ExpertOnThisTopic

The original footage is not from a hand held. Someone video taped the footage being played on a monitor. Hence the shaking affect

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Gary C.

Expert is right. The owner of the posted security video should extracted the video using the export function. By using the export function the image quality would improve and an identification by local residents would be more likely. With the added benifit of avoiding any further unwarranted besmerching of Samantha Stevens.

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Where'sMyLavenderPlant?

Probably the same dirtbag who stole my lavender and rose bushes out of my front yard! Karma will get you, thief!

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Woodside Owl

In Woodside, we had a large potted canna stolen. Down the street a concrete planter was dismounted from a brick wall and hauled off the same week. The owner of Skillman Pets always brings a smile to the neighborhood. It sucks someone would rip him off. Our plants were so big I wondered if they were to be sold somewhere.

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Yeah

I think the owner of the pet store is nice. I also think he’s nuts. Wouldn’t be surprised if he grabbed a wig and did this himself to get some publicity. Not in an evil way. In a nutty way

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hank havlichek

Have the questioned Elizabeth Montgomery from the old Bewitched show? Looks like her same hairdo and perhaps she put on a few lbs over the years.

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law aboding woman never make history

badazz lawbreaking blondes! dont care about nothin!! bet she did it just for a rush… Where can i find this woman?!!

Reply
Jay

Go ahead and toke up; smoking pot doesn’t harm anybody. The money your spending on pot doesn’t support criminal gangs in Latin America, it doesn’t support the international sex slave trade, and it certainly doesn’t support the illegal gun trade. Go ahead and toke up. What’s the harm?

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Avoid the Noid

Plants and trees planted in the community become public property and may be reclaimed by anyone at anytime. No crime or inappropriate deed was committed here.

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Anonymous visitor

quick question does anyone in sunnyside mind if i smoke weed its not like im doing any one harm just wanted the question to be answered

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OldenDays

i’d rather you smoke weed than tear up my f***king plants or throw trash everywhere, i’ll tell you that much.

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anonymous

i don’t mind people smoking weed as i used to as well, but do it in your apartment and ensure that the smell isn’t bothering anyone else.

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Anonymous visitor

Of course it bothers everybody, why do i have to smell and inhale your weed????? Would you like to smell my fart? I domt think so!!!!!

Reply
Johnny

Disgraceful Behavior, Someone knows this Tramp, Turn her and all her kind in, This is a good Neighborhood that has to take back its streets, Vandalism, Thieving, Littering, Refusing to clean up after your dog etc etc only lead to bigger crimes, People need to be shown up, Then they will stop.

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44th Street Resident

43rd Street Resident, I am with you. Do you guys ever distribute flyers or anything about these meetings, I know a few people on your street (are you on White Castle side or 7/11 side?) We have a similar problem on 44th street for 2 blocks from queens blvd all the way to greenpoint ave. Sometimes I have to dodge at least 5 piles of poop on my way from train to home. It’s getting ridiculous. I saw some home owners posted signs on trees and sign posts but these people don’t care. What’s worst is some of these actually bag them only to toss them to side of the street, what’s the deal with this? Do they actually pick it up when people are around only to toss it down the block?

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Southsider

I have a dog and it really bothers me when people do not pick up after their pets. In some cases the bags are left on the side of the road because people toss them on the trash piles and they are not picked up with the other bagged trash. I walk a pretty long loop and have to say that 44th street is a pretty bad street to walk up because there are few trash cans except for three at Queens (one is new). At the same time it really only takes a few bad actors to cause an issue if you consider that the dog gets walked twice a day, let’s say 10 people in the entire neighborhood don’t pick up that’s 20 piles a day 7 days a week for 140 piles a week. Which is actually a lot of sh!t.

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44th Street Resident

Thank you for picking up after your dog, we know there are responsible pet owners and some sh*tty ones. I’d like to collect them and dump them in front of their door for them to clean up. Question to you, how do you clean dog pee? It seems like dogs made a spot right by my concrete section of on my stoop and it’s making a big mess on the concrete, is there something to get the pee stain off the wall?

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NeL

44th.. I use lime-a-way turbo power, which is a product by Reckitt Benckiser. it’s excellent on lime/calcium and rust build up. ( I use it on toilets) You can find it in you local supermarket. (green spray bottle) I wouldn’t waste my time with scrubbing, just spray it before you know it’s going to rain (preferably 1/2 hour to an hour) and it washes away on its own

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43rd Street Resident

I live on the south side of queens blvd 43rd street between greenpoint ave and 48th ave. this saturday some of the homeowners got together and filed police complaint against a neighbor who leaves dog poop, not only in front of trees but in front of entrance steps. Not only is belligerent and nasty when someone points out pls pick up after dog. Yes is is blond 60ish with a medium size tan dog.

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Anonymous visitor

How sad. I guess she doesn’t realize that everything is on tape these days. Or, maybe he does, and wore a long blonde wig to throw us off. Good God, plants are nice, but, take a clipping and root it yourself if you like what you see and can’t afford to buy one yourself.

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Turtles

Maybe they should knock on Mary’s door, the lady who got booted from the sunnyside garden. I bet its pay back and she’s building one in her place!

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Kramden's Delicious Marshall

This woman seems like a total nut job. Is she making salad with all this stolen plant life?

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Yup

Our neighbor on 46th street off of Skillman planted a new bed last year and her plants were dug up overnight as well. Probably the same woman. I hope this video is enough to stop her. This is a disgusting thing to do and really hurts neighborhood morale.

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Cecilia

This is so sad!! People don’t help maintain our neighborhood nice, I live around the corner on 52nd between Skillman and Roosvelt and the outside of my house is always dirty, with cans, and many kind of garbage and my own neighbor is the one who does it … Petty!! Hope they can stop this people because I had to pay tickets because of this people.

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