Someone wanted Takoma Park, Md., resident Ray Altevogt’s plants dead. Over the month of November, someone “clear-cut” about 35 feet off the slow-growing evergreen shrubs creeping down his retaining wall. “Unfortunately,” Altevogt posted on a local e-mail group, “evergreens simply will not grow back like plants that drop their leaves in fall.” Altevogt, a botanist, offered a $225 reward for information on the perp; he says that the 15 or more maimed and destroyed shrubs were worth $10,000 to $15,000 apiece to him. On Dec. 8, the case may have been cracked when Sabrina Eaton, a neighbor of Altevogt’s, caught another neighbor snipping away at her hedge. Altevogt speculates that a motive may have had something to do with the suspect’s bike, which is equipped with a wide child trailer that makes it difficult for him to navigate the neighborhood’s greener sidewalks. According to Takoma Park Police Affairs Specialist Carol Bannerman, if convicted, the suspect could get as many as three years in jail. —Mike Kanin