It's a rough economy in Texas right now, but who knew it was so bad that people were stealing plants?
At 5 a.m. on Sunday January 31, Sharpstown resident John Brannen found that a random thief had brazenly came up to his door, stolen two yuccas, and walked away with supreme confidence as if it were the ending of an HGTV remake of The Usual Suspects. The thief was caught on Brannen's Ring camera (full video below).
"Admittedly, the two plants were not in the healthiest condition," says Brennan. "Perhaps the thief was just critical of my care for them."
Believe it or not, yucca plants are actually highly prized as stolen goods. Used in herbal supplements, they can be sold on the black market for $100/ton. The problem has gotten so bad in Mexico that armed mafia goons are part of widespread yucca syndicate. In the Trinidad Valley, residents call yucca “el palo de oro” or “the stick of gold.”
Then again, it's possible that the thief just thought the plants would look nice. Bryan, Texas had some plant theft last September that appears unrelated to the yucca trade. Sometimes weirdos do just walk off with the stuff on your porch for reasons that are mysterious to the non-plant burglar mind.
If you recognize the man in the video below, please contact the Houston Police Department. If there is a gang of violent yucca exporters in the city, it's probably worth stopping. At the very least, it could give some closure to Brannen, who misses his plants.
"[I] Had food delivered around lunchtime, and my front porch felt very empty without the two yucca plants," he says.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.