Cactus rustling isn’t new to the arid Southwest. Folks have been lifting beautiful specimen plants from public lands for a long, long time, and it's very difficult to control. Recently it’s been making news in upscale Palm Desert, CA. Thieves are targeting cacti planted on city properties, in resorts, on golf courses and just about anywhere they’re planted. It seems the cactus of choice is the golden barrel cactus, according to a recent article by the Associated Press.
The problem has gotten so bad that people are installing surveillance cameras to deter thieves. Apparently some cacti are also being implanted with microchips with barcodes that can be scanned, says the AP.
Other popular desert plants being targeted by thieves include agaves and Mexican fan palms.
To get an idea of the scale of the thievery click on the headline and read the recent Associated Press article. You’ll be surprised by the boldness of the cacti rustlers.
After I posted this I noticed I've written several blogs recently about the theft of landscape plants. I think I'll look for more positive news to post here for a while.