Australia: Flower thieves target Queensland properties

An orchid expert is not surprised orchid thieves have stolen more than 200 of the flowers from Fraser Coast properties, saying exotic and rare orchids could be worth thousands of dollars.

Griffith University orchid expert Catherine Pickering said there was a massive black market for orchids internationally.

"Orchids are the Lamborghinis of the plant world," Professor Pickering said.

"They are highly prized for their beauty and rarity and exports of orchids are worth €65 million ($102 million) a year for a mixture of both potted and cut flowers."

However, Senior Constable Melanie Ryan said despite the two thefts happening in different locations, it was unique for police to be called to orchid thefts, describing these cases as unique.

"It's very rare that police find this type of theft occurring, let alone twice now in a month," she said.

Senior Constable Ryan said 10 offenders had stolen about 40 orchids, which were planted in small terracotta pots, between 3pm on Sunday and 10am on Monday at a Queen Street address.

Read more at the Brisbane Times (Jocelyn Garcia)

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