Thieves are now trying to steal grass.
Manteca Police were called to a home in the 1100 block of Huntington Place Wednesday morning by a homeowner who had just gotten up and was getting ready for work when she was shocked by what she saw out her front window – her artificial lawn rolled up like a window shade.
She called a family friend, David Coates, who has worked as a handyman and took care of other maintenance issues at her home. Coates said she called him and asked if he could come over and clean up her front yard as someone had apparently tried to make off with her artificial lawn.
Coates said both front yard lawn areas were targeted with the northern side rolled up like a carpet and ready to load and haul off. The large staples used to hold the turf into the ground were still sticking out of the fabric base. He said the weight of the roll was probably too much for the thieves to load onto a truck.
A next door neighbor commented that she would stick with regular grass that couldn’t be stolen from her yard, as she observed her neighbor’s plight. The home is located north of Louise Avenue and west of Union Road.
A growing number of California homeowners have installed artificial grass after four years of drought have left many lawns in hues of brown and yellow. At the same time cities such as Manteca are restricting how much of the front yards of new homes can be planted with real grass. Some cities such as Las Vegas have banned front yard grass completely. At the same time most cities are requiring that much of a front yard remain porous which in turn can limit the use of artificial grass.
The theft of artificial grass is rare but a growing concern.
uIn November of 2014, Bay Hills Community Church in Hayward installed 600 pounds of artificial turf valued at $5,000 to replace drought ravaged grass.
uAlso in November 2014 the Los Angeles-based Tujunga Little League has artificial turf from its T-ball field stolen, The loss was pegged at $5,000.
uNewspapers in Australia that has been dealing with drought conditions longer than California have chronicled a recent rash of artificial turf theft as well.
Artificial grass sells rubber backing and drainage holes is available at various Internet retailers for $20 for every 40-inch by 28-inch segment.