The Tulip Thief

The latest edition of the free weekly Washington City Paper reports on a disturbing incidence of theft on Capitol Hill. No, not your tax dollars -- this time. Apparently now folks in DC have to chain down their newly planted bulbs. Full report is here. Now I can see why some people are tempted to steal blooming roses or figs or tomatoes -- even though I find the practice about as low as selling crack to preschoolers-- but I cannot wrap my head around the effort and lunacy it takes to actually go and dig up someone's unsprouted bulbs. You'd have to know when and where they are planted -- I assume by observing them, then you have to trespass and risk getting caught digging them back up -- all-in-all not a quick operation. That is a lot of premeditation for something that is worth around 50 cents each. In the article they mention a possible secondary market - to whom? Does anyone out there buy their bulbs on a street corner from some shady old man? I think not. Tulip bulbs are edible, so I wonder if that is it. Hunger I get though there are certainly easier ways to obtain a free meal in this city.

(Photo courtesy of


Are these in containers or actually in the ground in folks' yards?
They are actually planted in the ground and well set-back from the street - and most Capitol Hill yards have at least decorative fencing (usually iron) which definitely says to the world, "private property" - but some folks are clearly shameless.
merry said…
Hmmm. Sounds like it might be furry thieves with bushy tails, to me....

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