A woman in the Cinco Ranch area wants to hire an armed guard for her property. That's after someone tried taking a flood-damaged fake tree she put on the curb.
Diana Garaghty lives in the Bayou Crossing neighborhood. The waterway behind her house swelled up to a foot in her ground floor.
"You can see the line on the AC there," she said, showing KHOU 11 on Friday evening.
Neighbors couldn't return to their homes until earlier this week, meaning mold crept in before Garaghty, who evacuated, could start tearing out drywall.
"Look at the mold here. It's just nasty!" she said, gesturing to a mold-spotted wall in her bedroom.
Now she has a pile of damaged belongings in her front yard, like all of her neighbors do.
But on Friday, a woman pulled up to Garaghty's home in a pickup truck and approached a fake tree from Garaghty's house, which was standing on the curb.
"She proceeds to pick this tree up off the sidewalk, and so I ran over there, saying, 'What the "f" are you doing?' at the top of my lungs more than a couple times, and when I got to her, I pulled my arm back, I was going to punch her in the face, and then she got in the truck and left," Garaghty recalled.
She said neighbors have had strangers take items from their piles, some have asked permission.
"In the Nextdoor neighbor app, you know, I said, 'I'm looking to hire someone with a gun to sit here and watch out,' because, I mean, the neighbors, I talked to them, they're like, 'Yeah, we need to get somebody in here to guard this,'" she said.
A spokesperson for the Houston Police Department does say, if there's a pile of trash on the curb for pick-up, it is fair game - though a person can't go onto someone's property to pick that up.
Rules aside, there are obvious reasons why someone wouldn't want to pick up a flood-damaged piece of furniture or decoration.
"It's not about the tree," Garaghty said. "This tree has been sitting in e. coli-infested wastewater for god knows how many days, at least seven days because we couldn't get back here, plus this probably has tons of mold spores on it."
She moved the tree to her doorway, and while anything curbside is technically up for grabs, Garaghty doesn't want people on her property - or taking contaminated items.
"It's a health hazard for these people to take all this stuff and put it in their houses," she said.
The Nextdoor app removed Garaghty's post and suspended her account for two weeks, citing the strong language and tone she used in her post and replies to comments.
Still, she says, she's serious about the offer to hire an armed guard.
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