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Iconic Instagram spot destroyed by thugs

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The shocking moment two thieves stole an iconic cactus from the storefront of a perch clothing boutique has been caught on CCTV.

The men were captured on film approaching the store under the cover of darkness on Saturday before they stole the four-metre cactus from its home out the front of Ginger Owl in Swanbourne.

One man can be seen standing watch as the other kicks at the plant until one arm becomes weak enough to be ripped from the stalk.

Camera IconPolice are on the hunt for the cactus thieves. Nine News Credit: Channel 9

The three-year-old Peruvian apple cactus was raised by store owner Nicky Phillips for years to get to its towering four-metre height.

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Standing stark against stores pale Pink facade, the cactus has become a hotspot for Instagram influencers and even newlyweds.

One of the thieves kicked at an arm of the cactus until it gave way as the other kept look out. Picture: Nine News
Camera IconOne of the thieves kicked at an arm of the cactus until it gave way as the other kept look out. Nine News Credit: Channel 9

Employee Mieli Smith has not been with the store for long but told Nine New Ms Phillips takes incredible pride in the statement plant.

“Our owner Nikki, she absolutely adores this shop – it’s her baby,” Ms Smith said.

“It‘s heartbreaking, especially when so much work goes into our shop.”

Remnant of the cactus littered the plant bed where the cactus stood.

The spot has become renowned for picturesque photoshoots from Instagram influencers to wedding parties. Picture: Instagram
Camera IconThe spot has become renowned for picturesque photo shoots from Instagram influencers to wedding parties. Instagram Credit: NCA NewsWire

“We have a full arm of the cactus gone, which is three-to-four metres high and that has taken over three years to grow,” she said.

“They just destroyed it like it was pretty much nothing”

“It was just everywhere, it was a hot mess.”

Store owner Nikki has raised the cactus from scratch. Picture: Instagram
Camera IconStore owner Nicky Phillips started Ginger Owl in 2010 with her first Scarborough boutique. Instagram Credit: NCA NewsWire

The plant was targeted in a similar attack in July 2021, when a man used a machete to remove an arm in a more surgical manner.

Police and the store owners are appealing to anyone with information on the identity of the thieves to come forward to police.

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