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Jun 4, 2013 5:08 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Landscaper Calls For Arrest Of Plant Thief In East Hampton

Jun 4, 2013 5:08 PM

In the dead of night, sometime between May 26 and May 28, more than 60 ostrich ferns disappeared from Kevin Keyser's Cedar Street home.

Determined to find the perpetrator, Mr. Keyser, a landscape designer, has since posted a sign in his yard offering a $1,000 reward for anyone who helps find and arrest the "low life" who stole his plants.

"Either they're an idiot or they have cojones the size of bowling balls," he said on Tuesday.

Mr. Keyser said the plant thief has cost him approximately $1,000, plus thousands of dollars more in new security equipment and lighting he is installing in response. He said he is also starting a neighborhood watch.

"This sweet little East Hampton town is changing and not for the better," he said. "The neighborhood watch idea has gotten great reception—a lot of neighbors have stopped over and are coming on board."

Mr. Keyser said he did an extensive replanting of his front yard, ripping out privet and putting in $10,000 worth of evergreens and about $1,000 in ostrich ferns.

"It's pretty heart wrenching because I put my blood, sweat, and tears into doing it," he said.

He said he believes the plant thief is one person who has been watching him work in his yard and is probably in the landscape business, too, because they know newly planted ferns can be easily pulled out of the ground.

When asked what he would say to the thief, he answered: "Heads-up, I better not catch you before the police do. If you ask around, people know me. I'm not one to sit back and let this happen.”

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