A surprising sort of crime is hitting some Foothills neighborhoods. Thieves are slipping into neighborhoods in the dead of nightand stealing the landscaping.

In the Old West they took a mighty dim view of rustlers. In the Foothills, near Kolb and Sunrise theres a different type of rustler: low down, dirty, plant rustlers.

I appreciate it’s a plant and not a person thank God but it’s tragic in a way to lose so many plants that are so special, and that have been so appreciated by the community.

Eloise Gore says theyre proud of their landscaping in her neighborhood. They put a lot into it-and some thieves took a lot out of it: 35 plants worth $7500 to $8000.

The thieves have apparently decided stealing high quality plants and selling them has such growth potential that they branched out into at least two other neighborhoods nearby, stole high value plants, and left the same sort of sad empty holes that remind Eloise Gore of the beautiful plants that used to be there.

Showing some of the plants she said: This is a totem, a totem pole cactus. We still have this one but they took three others. Very valuable, somewhat unusual.

She says the Sheriffs Department has been checking the area, and the neighborhoods planning to use its landscaping budget to hire security guards.

We have residents, we call them the vampire patrol. And they’re out there between 12 and 5. And they were out there last night and yet, we were hit again last night. So I guess they’re pretty slippery.

And with somebody trying to unload lots of stolen plants, she says theres more reason than ever to buy from a nursery you can trust.

Because if youre buying from some individual, or the back of a truck, or who has a deal, you are buying something that is going to die within a month because it cant transplant that well.

KGUN reporter Craig Smith said: And it could be your stuff.

Eloise: And it may be our stuff.

If you do runs into that sort of suspicious deal you can contact the Pima County Sheriffs Department or 88-Crime