Police Dispatch 

Cactus Hackers on Crack?

Foothills Area

August 10, 6 a.m.

At least seven large cacti in a nice, quiet Foothills neighborhood were found violently sliced to pieces by a machete, and a crack pipe—presumed related to the vandalism—was found near the cactus carnage, according to a Pima County Sheriff's Department report

Sheriff's deputies met with the reportee, who told them the cut-up cacti had been in her neighbor's yard, and she'd arisen that morning to see cactus flesh strewn all over her street—so she called 911.

Upon examining the cacti, deputies determined they'd been destroyed with a sharp machete or something very similar, due to the cuts' clean lines and the manner of hacking that had evidently occurred.

The reportee said yesterday—probably soon before the cactus crime—she'd found a crack pipe on the ground near her neighbor's yard, but she'd thrown it away. She said she'd lived in that neighborhood for 20 years and had never seen any criminal activity like this (especially alarmed about the crack pipe).

Many other neighbors were now in the street picking up pieces of cactus and putting them in a big plastic tub.

But the reportee was suspicious of two young males who were also helping: She said they'd actually started cleaning up the cacti at sunrise, without being asked, and they lived in a house nearby at which "there was a lot of activity ... and a lot of drama ... and teenagers hang out in the driveway late at night."

She believed these young men were related to the vandalism—at least knew the person/people who did it—and now they were cleaning up the mess because "they felt guilty."

Upon questioning, the young men denied involvement, saying they'd come out to pick up cactus remains under the orders of their grandmother (with whom they apparently lived).

Thus nobody was arrested, but the owner of the now-mutilated cacti was considering requesting law-enforcement monitoring of the area for awhile.

More by Anna Mirocha


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