In a true display of bah-humbug Christmas spirit, some Grinch chopped down and made off with the 12-foot Colorado blue spruce from a local man’s yard early Monday morning. The spruce is now likely standing in someone’s home stolen property serving as a symbol of the season of giving.
“I’ve been watering that tree and three others just like it since they were knee-high,” said the man, who asked that his name not be used. “I planted them about 14 or 15 years ago. The one they took is the only one that ever produced any pine cones.
“When I went out in my yard and saw what happened to it, I was so mad, I was shaking.”
According to Payson Police Officer Allen Dyer, the theft took place within the 500 block of E. Evergreen Street at about 2 a.m. Monday about the same time a neighbor reported hearing “odd, intermittent grinding or sawing sounds.”
The vandalism wasn’t discovered for several hours. The tree was cut a foot above ground level, leaving only a short stump and its lowest branches.
“They are beautiful trees,” the victim said. “I’ve had people come by just to take pictures of them. Maybe I should just chop the other ones down now. To think that some family is going to celebrate Christmas around a stolen tree is just so hard to believe.”
The Payson Police Department has tips to help residents reduce the risk of holiday thefts. Lt. Don Engler said the steps are much the same as you would take any other time of the year. Use exterior lighting, if you are going to be gone, the PPD will do a vacation watch on your property, but also let a trusted neighbor know you are leaving and always report any suspicious activity to the police as soon as possible, so they can get to the scene.