Shameless pot plant thief caught on camera

An Auckland couple is astonished after a man stole a pot plant from outside their front door. Thankfully, their security cameras captured the entire bizarre incident. 

Amelia Ackerman was upstairs in her St Johns home on Monday morning.

Two things happened at once - her six-month-old puppy began barking, and her husband called to tell her he'd received an alert from the home's security system.

At that very moment, a man parked outside the house walked up to the front door, picked up a pot plant sitting outside and calmly took it back to his car.

Ms Ackerman ran to the window just as the culprit drove off.

"I couldn't believe my eyes," she told Newshub. "I'd never heard of anyone taking a pot plant."

Fortunately the Ackermans had security cameras installed eight months ago, as husband Jonathan is "very security conscious". The footage captured the culprit's face, clothing and car - but not the license plate.

After posting about the incident on Facebook and Neighbourly, the couple learned that pot plant theft is quite common. People who steal plants typically re-pot them and sell them at markets.

Good luck to this thief though - the Ackermans' plant is plastic.

One person who saw the footage thought he recognised the man as the same person who had tried to steal his lawn mower.

Ms Ackerman says she's not angry at the thief, and is thankful that he didn't take anything more.

"I'm glad I've never been in a situation that desperate." 

She was impressed by the police's response, as they sent an alert out about the theft just eight minutes after she reported it. They even sent someone round to the house to dust for fingerprints, but unfortunately the man didn't leave any. 

"They took it a lot more seriously than I'd have expected," she says.

Police say they are investigating the incident and are eager to speak to anyone who may have information. 

Most of all, Ms Ackerman is thankful that her husband's vigilance paid off, and says she'll be more careful to set the alarm from now on.

As for the pot plant pilferer, she's not worried he'll be back to take anything more.

"He can try, but he'll look like an idiot."