Jail door might slam shut on Venus flytrap thieves

Posted June 4, 2014

Venus Flytrap

— A measure that strengthens the penalty for stealing Venus flytrap plants sailed through the House Judiciary C Committee on Wednesday.

The bill ramps up the punishment for stealing the plants from a misdemeanor fine to a Class H felony, which could result in jail time even for first-time offenders.

Sponsor Rep. Ted Davis Jr., R-New Hanover, said the bill will help protect the rare plant, which grows only in a small pocket of the state surrounding Wilmington.

“This plant is so unique, not only in the type of plant, but its location,” Davis said.

A massive theft resulting in the loss of hundreds of plants made the need for a stringent penalty clear, he said, adding that he hopes the penalty will deter thieves.

The felony provision applies only to New Hanover, Brunswick, Pender and Onslow counties. Lawmakers said it is unusual, but not unheard of, for a local bill to deal with felonies.

Committee members said it is possible the Senate’s regulatory reform bill will amend its language to include harsher penalties statewide for Venus flytrap theft.


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  • MindBomb Jun 4, 2014

    They do grow a few other places, but are native to the 60 mile radius around Wilmington. I have had 2 such plants for several years, and they have done wonderfully! You can buy them at a few garden shops. I don't water from the top, always the bottom and they seem to like that. You should not make the trap close either by sticking objects in there, as it causes the plant stress. Just some Hints for those who would like to buy one. :)

  • Forthe Newssite Jun 4, 2014
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    well maybe we can send them all to jail. This is kinda laughable since they are destroying all other environmental good things in the state just as fast as they can!

  • Anita Woody Jun 4, 2014

    Ironically, DENR is going to allow development on the wetlands exactly where these Venus fly traps grow - the only place on the planet where they grow.

  • Greg Boop Jun 4, 2014
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    Well good!