Cactus Theft Prompting Use of Barcodes

According to the Los Angeles Times, the sun drenched town of Palm Desert California has been facing a record number of thefts in the last 6 months.  But these aren’t your typical thefts-people are stealing the golden barrel cactuses that dot the landscape of this desert town.   Yet surprisingly, depending on size, the golden barrel cactus can actually fetch a hefty sum (from $100-$800).  City officials say that they’ve lost approximately $20,000 worth of cactuses, which has sparked interest in a way to deter criminals from future theft.   In addition to installing surveillance cameras, Palm Desert officials will soon be implanting small microchips with scannable barcodes to track the owner of each golden barrel cactus.  The hope is that this type of tracking will deter criminals.  Pictured above are some golden barrel cactuses from the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona courtesy of Scandblue.