On R.H. Johnson Boulevard driving home from the store at about 4:30 p.m. with my son the other day, we noticed a pickup sitting half on the sidewalk with its flashers blinking.
As we got closer we saw a man pull one of the new live oak trees from the ground and toss it in the back of his truck. I thought it was weird that anyone with the rec centers, as that organization takes care of the wall landscaping on R.H. Johnson Boulevard, would be working on landscaping at that hour, not to mention pulling a live, green tree from the ground.
As we went by I noticed that there were no markings on the older truck and the man was not wearing a rec centers or PRIDES uniform.
We ended up following this guy trying to get close enough to capture his license plate on video as he did his best to lose us on El Mirage Road, which confirmed to me he was most likely a thief. We then filed a report with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.
The reason I’m telling this story is that Sun City West experiences landscape damage and theft of either plants or irrigation parts that either PRIDES, the rec centers or Maricopa County have to pay for, and it’s usually not as brazen as a daytime theft like this one. Usually it’s done under the cover of darkness.
Given the level of traffic that drives around Sun City West, I’d bet someone else has seen the thieves and not realized it.
I would ask that if anyone sees someone that looks like they’re working on the islands or walls and it’s after or before hours or they don’t have anything signifying that they work for PRIDES, rec centers or the county that you let MCSO know.
If you can safely get a license plate and/or description that’d be great, but do not risk your safety to do so.
Together we can slow or stop this theft if we all keep an eye out, thereby saving our community money and the effort to replace what’s taken.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
Sun City West