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Tue, Nov. 12

You’re on camera: Man steals tree
Earthworks Landscape & Supply reports stolen Blue Spruce

The subject is seen among the Blue Spruce trees at the front of Earthworks Landscape & Supply after the store closed for the day Friday, Oct. 4, 2019. (Susie Burgin/Courtesy)

The subject is seen among the Blue Spruce trees at the front of Earthworks Landscape & Supply after the store closed for the day Friday, Oct. 4, 2019. (Susie Burgin/Courtesy)

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The subject’s car, top right, is seen driving away from Earthworks Landscape & Supply with a tree in the trunk Friday, Oct. 4, 2019. (Susie Burgin/Courtesy)

Earthworks Landscape & Supply was robbed.

The thief, according to a Saturday, Oct. 5, police report from the Chino Valley Police Department, stole a Blue Spruce tree from the front of the store after it had closed. The tree is 4 feet tall and valued at $189.

Manager Gregory Sloggett told the responding officer that at about 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, staff had placed about a dozen of the potted trees near the front of the store to be picked up early the next day. Security video shows a man coming onto the property at about 5:45 p.m., an hour and 15 minutes after Earthworks Landscape & Supply closed, picking up the tree and leaving the property with it.

“A smaller, possibly mid-sized sedan, unknown make and/or model, possibly grey in color, is seen driving slowly eastbound on Road 3½ North, past the closed and locked gate,” the report states. “Shortly after, a white male subject, long grey beard with grey hair seen under a dark baseball cap, wearing blue jeans and what appears to be a blue denim shirt, goes up to the Blue Spruce trees … picks one of the trees up, then goes back toward where he came from. A few minutes later, the sedan is seen driving westbound on Road 3½ North, with the trunk open and the Blue Spruce tree sticking out of the open trunk.”

The video attests that the subject knew where he was going inside the yard, knew exactly where he wanted to go, knew exactly what he was going to take and knew exactly where to get it. However, due to the position and distance of the camera from the gate and the trees from which the subject took the Blue Spruce from, identifying the vehicle and subject is difficult if not impossible. There are no known suspects at this time.

However, the owner of Earthworks Landscape & Supply, Susie Burgin, said she hopes someone knows who the person might be or knows of someone who recently planted a Blue Spruce tree during the time it was taken. She also wants him to know he’s on film in case he plans on coming back, Burgin said.

“He is a repeat customer (one of my guys recognizes him),” she said in an email. “We sold him an apple tree in September, but our camera had already looped over so we don’t have a picture of him at the counter.”

Tracking him through a credit card sale can’t be done either because he paid cash, Burgin wrote.

If you have information about this theft, contact the Chino Valley Police Department at 928-636-4223.

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