Police Investigate an Unusual Theft

Pine tree is stolen from Wisconsin arboretum
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 12, 2020 1:10 PM CST
Odd Theft in Wisconsin: a Pine Tree
The tree thief's handiwork.   (University of Wisconsin-Madison police)

Police are, ahem, stumped by the theft of a rare pine tree from the University of Wisconsin Arboretum, per the AP. The 25-foot Algonquin Pillar Swiss Mountain pine was cut down (not dug up) sometime between Nov. 5 and Nov. 9, University of Wisconsin-Madison police said Thursday. The stolen tree was about 30 yards from a street that runs through the arboretum, which is a popular spot for walkers, joggers, bicyclists, and nature lovers. The tree was planted in 1988, and a twin tree next to it was left unharmed.

However, a white fir located nearby that was planted in 1981 had a 12-foot section cut from its top, police said. That was left behind. Arboretum staff estimated the cost of the stolen and damaged trees to be at least $13,000. Police said they are hoping for help from the public in identifying the thieves, given the size of the tree and the manpower it would take to remove it. They urged people to call if they "witnessed a large tree being transported from this area—or noticed a large tree that’s now part of someone’s holiday display."

(Read more weird crimes stories.)

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