Curtin Shops community garden targeted by thieves

Missing plants: Evan Mann at the scene of the theft last weekend, which saw nine plants taken from the community garden. Photo: Supplied

Missing plants: Evan Mann at the scene of the theft last weekend, which saw nine plants taken from the community garden. Photo: Supplied

A community group is searching for answers, after several plants were stolen from the communal garden they helped to create.

Nine plants from the community garden outside Curtin shops last Friday night.

It’s been the third time plants have been taken from the garden since it was established in March this year, with the last two incidents happening within three months of each other.

The garden was set up as way to transform the area surrounding the shopping centre, with a group of more than 20 people working over the past five years to plan and design the area.

Co-convener of the Curtin Shops Garden Group, Evan Mann, said some of the plants taken in the most recent incident were replacement plants for the ones taken from previous thefts.

“The garden has been there for less than a year, and in a short space of time, there's been several thefts,” he said.

“For many members of the group, they’re angry about it, but also sad and a little frustrated as well.

“I wouldn’t say we are discouraged, but we are determined to get the garden right, but it does set us back a bit.”

Mr Mann said the first theft happened a few months after the garden was unveiled to the public.

He said around six were taken about three months ago, but the most recent theft has been the largest.

Opening: Some of the members of the community group that set up the community garden when it first opened earlier this year. Photo: Andrew Brown

Opening: Some of the members of the community group that set up the community garden when it first opened earlier this year. Photo: Andrew Brown

“You can tell by the holes in the garden that they had some sort of gardening tool," Mr Mann said.

“Because it happened at night, and there’s no CCTV cameras, we have no way of working out who did this.”

The community group have contacted ACT Police to report the thefts and have also been in contacted with City Services to help monitor the problem.

Mr Mann said while the problem of plants being stolen from gardens isn’t new, he said public gardens such as the one at Curtin are particularly at risk of being targeted.

"There’s no one around to monitor it, and this is a garden that a lot of people enjoy,” he said.

“It was a very young garden, and we were hoping that the plants there would grow into something nice.”

He said work is already under way to find replacement plants for the site.