Thief who stole Aussie's pot plants found with surprise device: ‘Absolute legend’

The alleged thief did not expect this to happen.

An alleged plant thief has been caught by an incredibly determined homeowner who used Apple Airtags to track down the person to their home after a two-month ordeal.

The purported plant burglar is said to have begun their spree two months ago, coming at night to steal a potted monstera off the Adelaide resident's front porch. They returned on two separate occasions — each time taking a potted philodendron before the owner decided they needed to step things up a notch.

"I decided to go all in. I bought a pack of Apple Airtags and planted them on the best-looking plants I have left," the distressed plant owner shared online. "It was quiet for a month and a half and then she turned up again at 11pm two days ago."

Screenshots of the alleged plant thief caught on CCTV on two occasions.
The alleged plant thief was caught on camera multiple times. Source: Reddit

A plant-stakeout ensued

Though the plant owner had reported the alleged thefts to the police already, they were told there was minimal evidence so not much could be done. But, after allegedly stealing the third pot, planted with an Airtag, the owner was able to find where it had been taken to — then camped for a total of "six hours" waiting for the vehicle they knew so well to return to find out exactly who the culprit was.

"I immediately provided the address and license plate and updated my case with the police," they revealed.

Finally on Wednesday, after months of worrying about the safety of their plants, the owner claimed a "patrol team of three officers" informed them that they were going to "retrieve the plants".

"They went to the house, but no one answered the door, so they checked the backyard and found those plants," they claimed. "The thieves repotted two plants, but the patrols could still recognise them. After getting approval another two officers rocked up in a Ute and returned those plants to me."

Police are still investigating the incidents and the alleged victim has said they plan on pressing charges following the ordeal. "Police located the plants on March 27 and were able to return them to the owner. Investigations are continuing," a spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia

Aussies celebrate 'perseverance'

After continuing to keep a local group of Adelaide residents updated on Reddit, many have celebrated the news of the plants being found and returned.

"You are an absolute legend," praised one Aussie.

"I would love to hear the final outcome of the thieves getting their comeuppance in court. There is so much injustice perpetrated by a**holes these days that [we] can do nothing about — it's so satisfying to hear when finally a good outcome occurs. I applaud you on your perseverance and hard work," one exclaimed.

"Good! Now let's all sip on some soothing tea and celebrate a great outcome for ops tenacity for their beloved plants," another proclaimed.

Images of the plants allegedly taken from the front porch.
Police were able to get the plants back to the owner and are investigating the incidents. Source: Reddit

Police encourage 'extra security' usage

This was a perfect example of how technology can help protect property and other beloved items, with Police encouraging Aussies to keep their details up to date when using the security tags.

"Technology like Airtags can be used to provide extra security for property and valuable items," a Police spokesperson said. "Police recommend that users keep their details up to date to assist in tracking the items if they are stolen."

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