Community rallies behind senior and stolen plants

The community is rallying behind an elderly woman who recently had a number of plants stolen off her patio.

The community is rallying behind an elderly woman who recently had a number of plants stolen off her patio.

On Aug. 21, a Victoria senior had Begonias, Jasmine, Daisy, Perwinkle, Lavender, Lamb’s Ear, Schlefera and cacti swiped from her property in the 1330 block of Hillside Avenue.

According to Mayor Lisa Helps, the woman reached out to her through email explaining what happened and asking for assistance.

“She’s a low-income senior so she doesn’t have the money to replace them. But the most heartbreaking thing was she’s had some of these plants since the early 1990s,” Helps said. “You imagine, you water your plants and develop a relationship with them.”

Helps passed along the request to Victoria Police Chief Frank Elsner and the city’s parks department, hoping they could provide further assistance.

Elsner said they are investigating the incident, but with thin leads, he was not hopeful they would be able to recover the plants.

Elsner took to social media sending out an initial tweet, saying “This weeks biggest Jerk Award goes to whoever stole the flowers off the balcony of an elderly lady.”

Since then, Elsner and Helps have received an overwhelming response from the public wanting to donate plants and money to help the woman replace those she lost.

“A lot of people said they wanted to donate. It’s been overwhelming, the response. That’s what we wanted to do was start that,” Elsner said. “Was that the worst crime we had that week? No. But it was one of those where somebody was so vulnerable and it was just so senseless.”

Local business Aqua Irrigation Systems Inc., a sprinkler installation and repair company, delivered a plant to city hall for the woman.

The parks department gathered all the donated plants, along with a few from the department, and delivered them to the woman on Tuesday.

“It reaffirms what we all know about Victoria, which is Victoria is the right scale of city for people to care about their neighbours, for people to care about people who don’t necessarily live next door but are still thought of as neighbours,” Helps said.

“You can actually make an impact with a small action like a tweet.”