This is pretty wrong. But sounds like the makings of a so-bad-it’s-entertaining movie starring Sinbad, Billy Bob Thornton, or Affleck (during the J. Lo years).
Fortune: In recent weeks, police across the country have seen an uptick in the theft of trees from commercial lots. In Baytown, Tex., cops caught a man earlier this month trying to take several holiday trees off a lot. In Portland, Ore., police nabbed a man last week dragging a stolen tree down the street around 3 a.m. Officials in Hillsborough County, Fla., are investigating a Christmas tree crime spree, with more than 20 stolen from one lot owner alone.
… Sales of fresh Christmas trees have been on an upswing since 2002, with approximately 31 million sold last year for a retail value of $1.3 billion, according to the National Christmas Tree Association. But with little evidence of any black market for Christmas trees, and a six-foot fir costing as much as $200, officials suspect this year’s thieves are likely stealing trees for their own living rooms.
Lush firs aren’t the only Christmas adornments being taken – holiday trim has become hot loot as well. The Garden Patch in Raynham, Mass., a garden centre near Boston, lost $1,500 worth of Christmas decorations to thieves on Thanksgiving night. Owner Cathy Berlo says stolen items included table runners, Victorian ornaments and small tabletop arrangements. A few days later, a $120,14-foot fir was snatched.
Some bad Santas are even swiping décor from charities. An artificial tree that had the names of needy children asking for gifts pinned to it was stolen from the lobby of a post office in Sorrento, Fla. And on Thursday, police charged a 40-year-old woman near Grand Rapids, Mich., with larceny for allegedly swiping toys donated to the Salvation Army.