Sadly, the story of the Pepper Thief (which has to be a racoon) is not yet over. Last night, it returned to take its tithe. Perversely, despite all the new plants I planted, it seems to like the established ones better, and took the last of the original 6 pepper plants which it had not already claimed, plus one (of the 4) oregano plants. For some reason, it keeps trying to take the plant identifier-cards as well. Indeed, the original pepper identifier things-you-stick-in-the soil have vanished without a trace, but the oregano label was still on the deck, several feet away from the oregano pot. And it had had a good dig at the label for the new pepper plants, but evidently abandoned it after the satisfaction of making a hole in the soil.
Do racoons just particularly like pepper plants? (Most hadn't gotten past the flowering stage and into the pepper phase so I'm not counting on the fact it was after actual veggies.)