The neighbor was fined $400 and slapped with a criminal record for cutting the flowers

The neighbor was fined $400 and slapped with a criminal record for cutting the flowers

A green thumb was caught red-handed stealing flowers from a nearby house in the middle of the night, with the couple reportedly catching her by installing home security cameras after hydrangea heads disappeared from their yard.

On December 8, ten flowers disappeared from John and Tiggy Copleston’s home in Palm Beach, located on Sydney’s northern beaches, and the couple subsequently installed surveillance cameras around their home on suspicion of a burglar.

More confetti disappeared days before Christmas, then a third incident occurred three weeks later, A Current Affair reported.

The house is said to be known to locals in the area as ‘Hydrangea House’, and the couple soon discovered the culprit. They checked security footage of their home and saw a woman approaching their hydrangea bush, scissors in hand, so the Coplestons decided to call the police.

A Palm Beach woman now has a criminal record for stealing flowers from another home. Source: current issue

Criminal record, $400 fine and expensive gift

The woman responsible for stealing hydrangeas from Copleston’s property, later identified as prominent Sydney architect Annabelle Chapman, was charged with destroying flowers with intent to steal. The embarrassing neighbor dispute resulted in a criminal conviction as well as a $400 fine.

She reportedly felt remorseful in court and bought the couple an expensive gift to apologize for her behaviour.

Pictures of hydrangeas outside their home.

Coplestone House is known locally as “Hydrangea House”. Source: Daily Telegraph

Even if the flower heads are hanging over the property’s fence, they still belong to the homeowner, and any damage or tampering with them is illegal, attorney Sam Macedoni told A Current Affair.

“Hydrangeas are such an expensive flower these days that even helping yourself to them is a crime,” he added. “You can’t take it, it’s not yours, so even if you cut it and take it, it’s not yours, it’s someone else’s flower.”

Another plant thief was caught red-handed last week after a two-month ordeal that began when an Adelaide resident disappeared his garden plants from his yard. Determined to find the culprit, residents stuck Apple Airtags in the remaining plants and later tracked them down when they disappeared.

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