SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — Lawns in a San Jose neighborhood aren’t brown because of California’s drought. According to residents, vandals have been poisoning lawns in a new kind of crime wave.
It’s hard to miss the bizarre streaks and patches of dead grass on nearly every lawn on Moreland Way.
“It’s just a phenomenon. We don’t know what it is or what kind of chemical they’re using,” resident Suzanne Johnson told KPIX 5.
Johnson and her neighbors call it “lawn tagging.” She said the vandals have poisoned more than 20 lawns on her street.
Jim Beidadsch recently put in a new lawn, and was getting ready to sell his home. Now he has put money into a thousand dollar cash reward to catch the bad guys.
“For a while there, I had the best looking front because I had all the new flowers in and everything looked good,” Beidadsch said. “Lawn was beautiful, but now it’s terrible.”
A few houses down, Tony Athan is looking at $5,000 worth of damage.
“Violated, you know? You try really hard to do what you can…mowing the lawns doing all this stuff and when it gets damaged like that, for no reason,” Athan said.
On Monday, Athan and his neighbors filed police reports. He put up new motion sensor lights and has surveillance cameras, but hasn’t come across any suspicious activity.
“We want it to stop. The people here take a lot of pride in their homes. It’s a big street, it’s quiet,” said resident Frank Maggi.
Neighbors aren’t staying quiet about it any longer. The neighborhood association put up fliers on the block and created an email account for people to send anonymous tips.
“I’m not sure if they have something against the street or maybe they’ve lived here or maybe, it’s hard to say,” Johnson said.
Residents who have lived in the area for decades said this type of vandalism hasn’t happened before. Many have been prompted to install surveillance cameras and outdoor lights.