Elders' Garden Robbed

Virginia Moyer (it was Dress Like A Pirate Day) and April Joyce with one of the flower bushes that wasn’t stolen.  KLH | Eye

Virginia Moyer (it was Dress Like A Pirate Day) and April Joyce with one of the flower bushes that wasn’t stolen. KLH | Eye

Kevin L. Hoover

Eye Editor

JANES ROAD – Sometime during the night of June 9 and the morning of June 10, thieves partly defoliated the patio garden serving senior citizens of Mad River Community Hospital’s Adult Day Health Care (ADHC ) program.

The thieves had to climb a fence to steal the rose bushes, lilies, irises and even two Japanese maple trees, one of which had been there 10 years. Soil and soil amendments were also taken.

“This is our sanctuary,” said Virginia Moyer, activity director. “It’s been violated.”

Some 56 elders are enrolled in the non-profit ADHC program, which is a separate entity from the hospital.

There, they enjoy arts and crafts, bingo, physical and occupational therapy and the leafy patio out back.

But ugly holes where root balls have been ripped out marked fresh gaps in the greenery, increasing the sense of violation.

“It’s degraded our spirit quite a bit,” Moyer said. On the hospital’s grounds to the west, trees have been chained up to prevent theft.

Police Chief Tom Chapman said thefts of foliage are common. “It is absolutely a ‘thing,’” he said. “It’s similar to vandalism, in that rarely do you catch someone in the act.”

The ADHC bush and tree burglars made quick work of their thefts, leaving behind other garden items that might have been of interest such as planters and tools. But they were able to do significant damage.

“I’m just hoping they don’t come back,” Moyer said. “I’m not sure whether to replant.”


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  1. Lauraine Leblanc said:

    I do believe that many of these thefts are perpetrated by "locals"; witness the recent return of Geraldine's tree pot (minus tree), which was stolen by people on an admitted coke binge months ago. Although, it must be also said, Arcata has some of the most sedentary "travelers" ever. Some criminological research has shown that such petty thefts and graffiti are most alarming in that they are indicative of a larger criminogenic trend, which is why graffiti eradication is so important and enforced by many police departments, including Arcata's.

  2. Funk Shui said:

    I understand your anger and frustration but much of the theft & vandalism around here is done but local assholes.
    Just ask the guy who slammed into my landlords fenced and kicked out my window last year…How about the person who has continually "tagged" my building monthly with "GPS" for the last 3 years… local assholes!
    Have you read Savage Henry? they have articles applauding local "taggers" who put their "street art" wherever they like…more local assholes!
    No matter who did this, it was really out of line. They should be drawn & quartered upon capture…

  3. Deo Deneau said:

    When I move there these 'bums' will have someone new to deal with…can't wait!

  4. Jennifer Mobley said:

    YOU cannot leave anything of value or appreciation without the traveling asshole bums that ruin Arcata and the rest of Humboldt county! I come from a big city in so cal. I hate to say it but please Humbolt get a BACKBONE! YOU CAN DO IT! I know this hurts but the more nicer and excepting of these people the more of the so called hippy love peace and hair grease will EXPLOIT YOU! I have nothing against True Loving honest earth loving hippies. It is the traveler bums that destroy everything in their own path and everyone elses because THEY CAN GET AWAY WITH IT! because a lot of them are Trust Fund Babies! Please do not be fooled.
    If you love Arcata you can change or help or even find a way to address this situation! I feel this has been addressed too many times but not enough times.

  5. Funk Shui said:

    This is so sad…what's up with the theft of plants & benches lately? (Pacific Paradise had their 4 day old bench stolen last week 🙁 ).

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