By Claire Ottaviano
COMMUNITY plant and vegetable gardens are becoming the new target for thieves across the hills and eastern corridor, with an after school care centre and church amongst the most recent victims.
In Vegetable vandalism vexes village (Echo News, February 23), thieves reportedly stole vegetables from a community cart in Mundaring Village but it has since been revealed that thieves also targeted an after school care centre in Stratton and a church in Kalamunda in the same week.
The stories have sparked more reports on social media from residents, businesses and not-for-profits across the district.
Stratton Out of School Care director Bianca Piazzola said vandalism and plant theft from the area, which is located within public open space at Stratton Community Centre, was disappointing for staff and upsetting for children.
“This is the fourth vegie patch we’ve started from scratch and replanted, being not for profit we don’t have the funds to keep replanting it,” she said.
“It’s extremely annoying mainly for our children, they get extremely upset and they don’t know how to regulate their emotions like adults do.
“So we’re trying to teach them that these things are not what’s meant to be happening in the community and try to find the positive out of a negative situation, use it as a tool for education.”
As well as stolen solar panels and general vandalism, thieves at Holy Family Parish brazenly took about 50 plants from the Kalamunda Church during the night of Saturday, February 16, an amount that would have required a truck or trailer.
Father Antony Suresh has been tending and growing his collection of plants for the past four years, but in a forgiving spirit is preparing to move on and start fresh.
“For the past four years I am collecting and planting and watering,” he said.
“They have taken my heart too but let them be happy, if they are going to decorate their place with them then I hope their place will be more beautiful.
“I will have to start from zero, because people donated the empty pots but they will again give beauty to the church.”