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Castor Gardens man sentenced for stealing shrubbery

Caught red-handed: Joseph Medycki was caught on video ripping a bush from a garden on Agusta Street in April. He has now been ordered to perform 100 hours of community service and pay restitution for his crime. SOURCE: FACEBOOK

A Castor Gardens man probably got more than he bargained for when he swiped the shrubbery from a front yard of a Bell’s Corner home in April. Earlier this month, a judge gave him a lot of work and a hefty bill for his troubles.

On Aug. 3, Municipal Court Judge Robert S. Blasi convicted Joseph Medycki of theft and ordered him to perform 100 hours of community service and pay $1,148.85 in restitution.

Medycki, 41, of the 1100 block of Saint Vincent St., gained notoriety after he ripped bushes from the front garden of an Agusta Street home, tossed them in the back of his pickup truck and split. The home was equipped with surveillance cameras, which recorded the episode. After the homeowner posted the clips on Facebook, along with some unflattering comments about the unidentified thief, more than a half-million people viewed the video within a few days.

The attention prompted Medycki to surrender to police, although he eventually pleaded not guilty to the crime.

According to Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Mitrick, Medycki has 90 days to finish community service and one year to pay restitution. Court records show that the defendant still faces a September trial in an unrelated car theft case, while he has prior arrests for drug possession and simple assault. ••

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