porch pirate toronto

People in Toronto keep getting busted stealing plants and more from neighbours

Times are tough in Toronto as rising rent prices are drastically outpacing wages, basic food items keep getting progressively more overpriced, inflation on mortgage lending rates has hit a record high and more people are claiming insolvency than ever.

As people adjust their daily habits to try and keep expenses down, some have turned to stealing food from Loblaws, while others have even moved on to thefts from far less deserving targets than supermarket magnates: their own neighbours.

Posts about Toronto porch pirates and plant kidnappers have abounded on hyperlocal social media platform Nextdoor and in various community Facebook groups lately, with people caught on doorbell cameras stealing everything from packages and plants to bikes and city-issued garbage bins.

One resident of Lawrence Park posted footage of someone spending minutes digging up plants from their front yard and loading them into a truck during daylight hours.

"STOLEN EVERGREENS from front lawn at 8:48 p.m. today," they wrote along with the clip, which shows a man slowing to a stop, pulling over and grabbing a shovel from the bed of his truck. He then proceeds to exhume three of the four evergreens in question from near the end of the home's driveway before the clip cuts.

People are commenting in shock, calling the act brazen, shameless and sad, and noting the man's audacity "all for $150 worth of shrubs."

In another post, a culprit is shown having the guile to go up onto someone's front porch and steal armfuls of flower planters on Crawford Street, while another did the same to nab a stroller in Trinity-Bellwoods.

Residents parked in an underground garage in the city had their cars jacked up and the catalytic converters stolen from them last month, while one person said they have had parcels, a birdhouse, solar lights and even a pizza taken from their veranda in recent weeks.

"Everyone, if you're going to leave stuff out like this please lock it to the railings. People are desperate, even more these days and plenty of people are being robbed... This city is going downhill," one community member warned others after multiple baby carriage thefts in their area.

"So disturbing. It is very unfortunate that we always need to be on the lookout," another wrote regarding a video of yet another late-night garden robbery. "Was a shocker to hear thieves were actually digging people's plants out of the ground."

The flurry of similar posts has many worrying about the state of Toronto, with such exorbitant costs for everything and a perceived uptick in crimes that feel like they have become the norm, whether petty like these or more serious.

Lead photo by

Gabriella S.


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