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A man in Singapore installed surveillance cameras outside his flat to catch the culprit he suspected was tampering with his corridor plants, and eventually caught an elderly female neighbour in the act.
When interviewed by reporters, however, the woman denied doing anything to damage his plants, and accused the man of using poor quality soil.
Plants uprooted, sabotaged with salt water for the past year
Lin, 50, who lives at Block 68 Geylang Bahru, explained to Shin Min Daily News that the plants he grew in the corridor were damaged on a regular basis.
In the past year, he claimed that some of the plants had been uprooted, with others with their branches broken.
He also complained that salt water had been poured into the pots, causing his plants to wither and die.
This was evidenced, Lin pointed out, by a residue of crystal grains that could be seen in one particular flowerpot.
“I have been growing a carambola tree for five years. It used to bear a lot of fruits, but has since withered due to the salt water,” Lin told Shin Min.
At first, Lin thought it was a prank, but when it became more of a regular occurrence, it made him feel “distressed, angry and helpless”.
Lin said he had poured his heart and soul into caring for those plants.
He also estimated that 20 of his plants have been “sabotaged” in such a manner.
Female neighbour from same floor seen in CCTV footage
Lin decided to take matters into his own hands.
In May this year, he installed CCTV cameras in front of his house in a bid to identify the culprit.
According to Shin Min, when Lin reviewed the CCTV footage a few days ago, he saw a female neighbour from the same floor plucking out one of his plants and throwing the stalk over the ledge, before taking away another pot.
He said the plant that was plucked out was a tangerine sapling, while the one that was taken away was a touch-me-not sapling.
Lin said he was confused about the old lady’s actions, because his family was on good terms with her, and would exchange greetings on a regular basis.
“I didn’t want to damage our neighbourly ties, so I have not confronted the other party,” he shared.
Neighbour denied damaging Lin’s plants
When interviewed by Shin Min, the female neighbour in question denied that she had damaged Lin’s plants, or poured salt water on them.
She also claimed that her own plants had been tampered with, and scolded Lin’s family, saying, “Go and die”.
“Their own plants are wilting because of poor soil quality, and it’s got nothing to do with me,” she concluded.
Top image from Shin Min Daily News.