SHALIMAR, Fla. (WKRG) — Detectives in Okaloosa County are searching for plant thieves that targeted the Wildwood nursery in Shalimar.
Two people were caught on camera stealing plants and garden equipment overnight Saturday, August 6. Owners called deputies and filed a report Sunday.
Marketing manager Veronica Deveau said this is not the first time it has been hit in its first year of business.
“The first time we notice somebody there’s a lot across the street with just a little bit of a high-end compost,” said Deveau. “Recently in the last few weeks, we did have video footage of. Individual or maybe two people hopping our fence and just kind of making themselves at home while we’re closed and they did take quite a few plants from us.”
In the latest smash-and-grab, the pair got away with more than $1,000 in merchandise. The two individuals are seen in surveillance footage entering the gates and stealing countless items.
Wildwood staff believes the thieves are former customers and urges the community to help catch them.
This individual KNOWS plants & they KNOW our nursery & They KNOW us. They know what they are doing. We feel completely violated. I feel so sad, disheartened & truthfully, scared. This is mine and my families blood, sweet & tears, and we are looking at over $1000 worth of plants & pots stolen (that we know of). I’m genuinely heartbroken that someone has done this not only once, but now, TWICE.Wildwood Garden Shoppe & Nursery Owner on Facebook
List of stolen items:
- Bird of Paradise 15g
- 3 large pots
- Banana plants
- Limelight Hydrangea
- Loofah Plants
- Sunshine ligustrum
- Aloe plants
- Pink carnation Azaleas
- Rubber plants
- Passion vines
Deveau said they posted video and pictures of the burglary on July 21, and more photos from the crime on August 6. The nursery is offering a cash reward for information that leads to an arrest. Anyone with information can call OCSO investigations at 850-609-2000.
“We do a lot for the community, a lot of events and workshops and a lot of fun stuff so you know. It’s kind of sad to see someone breaking in like that, but we’re just gonna keep moving along and hopefully we catch them,” said Deveau.
The Wildwood Garden Shoppe & Nursery is located off Eglin Pkwy on 10th Avenue in Shalimar, Fla.