Thief Stole More Than Just A Tree

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Somewhere, most likely in Payson, someone will be celebrating Christmas around a gorgeous, 12-foot, blue spruce Christmas tree, brightly lit and decorated in honor of the season.

But even with all the festive finery, the spirit of that tree will be weeping. It was stolen from the place where it had been planted and nurtured for 15 years.

The tree was discovered to be missing early yesterday Monday morning from a residence on East Evergreen. A neighbor had heard grinding or sawing sounds in the night, but did not make a report.

The man who took care of the tree wants his identity protected. He planted two other trees as well as the one that was stolen.

He is so upset and disgusted he wants to cut the other two trees down before they’re stolen too. After caring for something for so long, having people stop and admire it, even take pictures, to lose it is to lose something of yourself.

So, not only did the tree thief steal the man’s tree, he stole a part of the man’s life - 15 years of effort.

How can anyone find joy with such misbegotten gains? It must take someone heartless enough to steal a tree from an old man’s yard.

So, be on alert, thieves are roaming our town in the spirit of the Grinch, stealing Christmas.

Keep the exterior of your home lighted and report all suspicious activity including sounds as soon as possible.

If you are shopping, lock your purchases in your trunk, out of sight. Make sure your home’s doors and windows are secured, including the garage door.

If you are looking at ways to give this season, there are a number of local charities offering you just that chance.

  • anta’s List, the Rim country’s longest-running toy drive, is always looking for help and new toy donations. Call (928) 474-5853 for more information.
  • The Rim Country Optimist Club operates the community’s food basket program. Call (928) 595-0406 or (928) 468-7516.
  • The 14th Annual Tamales for Toys gala will unfold Saurday, Dec. 7, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., once again at Custom “S” Welding on Oxbow Estates Road in south Payson. Trade a new, unwrapped toy for a child five to 12 years old for some tasty, homemade tamales. The toys will be turned over to the Payson Police Department’s holiday gift distributors. For more information, call Don or Silvia Smith at (928) 474-9609.

In this season of sharing, let’s all concentrate on helping our neighbor, even if it means watching out for them in the dead of night.

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