VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A Vancouver family is trying to figure out who is stealing the vegetables from their garden and why. It also turns out they’re not alone and we’re finding out produce theft is a serious issue across the Lower Mainland.
When Vancouver resident Munira Murphy started noticing veggies were disappearing, she started recording her family’s garden. They discovered while they were sleeping, a woman who had been seen in their neighbourhood, was busy on their property.
“Knowing how difficult it is and the heart and soul that goes actually growing vegetables and caring for them and so much work that goes into it, for someone to just come in and take them.”
We’re not talking about one or two beans or a couple of berries once in a while, we’re talking about loaded bags of produce being taken.
This happened to the Murphy’s as recently as just a few days ago.
Now, among the few zucchinis left in their garden, there are signs with pictures from the footage with a stern warning to the thief. “Stop stealing our vegetables. You’re stealing them. We will contact the police if you keep on doing it,” explains Murphy.
These kinds of thefts are happening all over the region. The North Shore Garden Society says this happens often at its community gardens and it’s a similar situation in Richmond.
“Since the growing season, we’ve had five people respond and say that they’ve had some pilferage,” says Ian Lai with the Richmond Food Security Society.
New signs have gone up to try and deter people from stealing. “A lot of passion has gone into it, so when one or two items get pulled out, it still hurts and I can understand that hurt,” adds Lai.
For those stealing out of desperation for food, the society says it’s happy to provide support and resources to help them find a meal. “I’d like to bring in the community, instead of calling out someone in the community,” stresses Lai.
However, Murphy doesn’t feel like that’s what happening to her garden. “It doesn’t feel like that’s what it is, it feels like this is a person who is intentionally coming and taking stuff that is not theirs and probably doing it to everybody else in the neighbourhood too.”
She’s hoping the signs they’ve put up will help them be able to finally enjoy the fruits of their labour.