LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – Authorities are hoping to catch a thief “green-handed” after a Lexington business was burglarized and had thousands in merchandise stolen.

Not in jewelry, electronics, or even cash, but instead thousands of dollars’ worth of rare plants, and they need the public’s help finding the thief.

“Those are prize plants basically, everybody wants these,” Jennifer Wilson said while holding two rare Thai constellation philodendrons. They are similar to the type of plants stolen from Wilson’s Lexington nursery.

Overnight Saturday, Wilson Plant Co.’s Lexington greenhouse was burglarized, and Wilson believes the thief is both likely a part of the plant community and had shopped there previously because they knew exactly which plants to take.

“Someone really zeroed in on these specific plants and knew that there was some value in them and not only that but did considerable damage to our greenhouse,” Wilson said.

The thief or thieves got inside the greenhouse by making multiple cuts through the exterior plastic.

“If the temperatures had been any colder Saturday night that could have been very problematic for us, in addition to just damages we would have lost probably every plant in our greenhouse,” Wilson said.

So why steal plants?

Other than just simple personal gain, authorities suspect whoever stole them could be trying to turn a profit online.

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“Facebook marketplace is obviously one of the outlets for this sort of thing as is etsy,” Wilson said. “There just seems to be, among some people obviously, this sort of an attitude that plants are just something you can take,” she added.

Authorities ask if anyone does see any of these plants posted for sale somewhere like a social media marketplace to both contact the nursery and Lexington police.

Here’s a list of the plant varieties that were stolen:

  • Monstera deliciosa ‘Thai Constellation’
  • Monstera deliciosa ‘Peru’ variegated
  • Monstera adansonii variegated
  • Philodendron ‘Ring of Fire’
  • Epipremnum pinnatum ‘Albo’
  • Syngonium podophyllum ‘Strawberry Ice’
  • Hoya ‘Mathilde’
  • Hoya ‘Black Leaf’
  • Various orchids