3 years, 2 stolen trees and 1 mad Scout troop

NEED TO KNOW
  • Bandit returns to Boy Scout Christmas tree lot for a third year
  • Took two trees, and the whole thing was caught on camera
  • Leader wonders who would steal from scouts, at holidays, at a church
3 years, 2 stolen trees and 1 mad Scout troop

It’s bad enough someone steals a Christmas tree from the Boy Scouts. But a serial thief had the nerve to steal two trees from a Troop’s tree lot, even driving away with one and then coming back for the second!

The Missouri Boy Scout Troop 374 knows this bandit well. KTVI in St Louis reports this is the third straight year they've seen the same woman nab trees from their lot. The whole saga unfolds on security cameras. “You’re like, that looks like the same darned lady,” former Scout Master Mark Wilbur told KTVI. “How can that be? She’s back again.”

The thief always strikes at night. Last year’s cameras caught her struggling to free a tree before hauling it away in her SUV. This year, she came prepared with a hammer. She loaded up one tree, drove away, and then came back 13 minutes later for another.

“I can’t believe someone would steal from a boy scout troop, during the holidays, on church property,” said Nick Kobel, the current Scout Master.

He says the Troop sells the trees to pay for activities and gear. The two trees lifted by the mystery woman were worth around $100 combined, a good chunk of change when, as Kobel said, “every little bit counts.”

Despite the loss, the thief’s latest raid did provide some clues that will hopefully make her easier to find. She was driving the same red Dodge Durango as in previous years, and the length of her trip between trees seems to indicate she lives in the area. She even appeared to have identification tags on her jacket.

Local police are hoping, with any luck, that the tape will thwart the tricky three-time tree thief once and for all. 

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