Plant Thieves in the neighborhood, 5/5/18

Jade Davis has reported this to the MCSO She saw them loading the plants, Dudley’s, into the back of their car from their backpacks (they had been down on the coastal cliffs), roots and all, into the back of their vehicle where they had potting soil. She confronted them, and they admitted they knew it was  illegal and then took off headed south. If you see them, report them. They had 3 big heavy bags each. MCSO said they would notify local deputy as well as F&G. There is a black market in China for our coastal plants, and a  ring in Marin Co was recently broken up and arrested and thousands of plants recovered.

Pat Freeling, a state wildlife officer, replants Dudleya farinosa in Mendocino County. The plants can fetch up to $50 each in Asia.Pat Freeling, a state wildlife officer, replants Dudleya farinosa in Mendocino County. The plants can fetch up to $50 each in Asia.Travis VanZant — California Department of Fish and Wildlife via AP

SAN JOSE >> State wildlife officials say they have uncovered an international scheme in which thieves from Korea and China slip into wild landscapes in Northern California to pluck succulents to sell on the thriving black market in Asia.

9 thoughts on “Plant Thieves in the neighborhood, 5/5/18

  1. Good on her for confronting, logging, and reporting. So typical. Look at CA Fish and Wildlife citation and enforcement action records. Vietnamese and Hmong communities are absolutely devastating our flora & fauna in this state. Heinous crimes against the environment by poaching and now plant theft. They get caught and get a slap on the wrist. Many that have been apprehended are repeat, multi-time offenders. I hope these people get caught. I’ll be watching for them in SLO County.

  2. This is the latest crime, Tim. There was a sort of informal “ring” up in Marin Co. 3 people, I think were busted. One or two were Chinese. They would ship these Dudleys back to China where they sold for $50/each. A postal patron got suspicious when he or she (can’t remember) saw dirt coming out of one of the packages they were mailing I’ll look for the article and add to post.

  3. There is probably a piece of this puzzle I’m missing but…I did a quick Google on this species and there are at least 15 nurseries in the Bay Area that sell these for about $9 a piece. So are these all black market? If not, and you can get $50 a piece in Asia, why not just resell?

  4. I see the Dudleya farinosa at about $10/each. They are stealing thousands at a time, so beyond most people. Then, add in the pots, soil, and shipping costs to China, and there goes the profit margin…

  5. First they poached the Abalone to the point where the season is closed this year. Now they are after our native plants, at what point do we cast the into the ocean.

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