Vendor has hands full with Christmas tree thievery

Some holiday thieves are giving new meaning to fleeced Christmas trees.

The saga of the purloined pines began to be unveiled when a Bayview Station police officer recovered five stolen holiday evergreens
Dec. 10 at about 6 a.m., according to police Capt. Greg Suhr.

The suspect was chased down by a patrol car, and during questioning the officer looked in the back of the truck and saw five Christmas trees still wrapped in mesh. The man was on parole, but wasn’t technically breaking it. Police let him go, but not before taking the trees into custody.

It turns out that Flowercraft Garden Center at 550 Bayshore Blvd. had reported a burglary in which the thief took exactly five trees. For manager Hazel McDonald, it wasn’t the first time she had to track down her Tannenbaums.

Two weeks earlier, someone tossed about a dozen Noble pine trees over a fence and strapped them to the top of a Volkswagen Jetta.

Fortunately for McDonald, Jettas weren’t meant to transport a dozen trees. They fell off the roof as the thieves made a getaway.

Flowercraft sells about 2,000 trees during the holiday season, and McDonald said that if there are trees left over before Christmas, she usually gives them away to those in need.

Which leads to her favorite Christmas caper. In 2007, someone broke into the warehouse just before Christmas and tried to take some trees.

It turns out, however, the trees in question were already free.

“It’s sounds like a lot of work for nothing,” McDonald said.

Police have the suspect identified and he should be in custody soon before any more Christmas trees can be stolen by this “grinch,” Suhr said.

bbegin@sfexaminer.com

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