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DECATUR | Couple offers reward in case of stolen Christmas tree

1:20 AM, Dec 4, 2011   |    comments
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Reward sign over hole where Xmas tree once stood

DECATUR, Ga. -- Who would even think of stealing a Christmas tree? That's exactly what someone did at a home in Decatur and now the owner is offering a reward to find out who did it.

Tracy and Jane Smith spent a recent weekend day in North Georgia getting into the Christmas spirit by buying a live Norway Spruce to plant in their front yard. They planted the eight-foot tree in the front yard of their Decatur home and adorned it with 132 feet of colored lights. 

Last Thursday, Jane Smith came home from work and noticed the tree was gone. "And I thought what did my husband do with the tree?" she said. "Why would he take the tree out?"

They eventually realized someone stole it, dragged it out into the street and loaded it onto a truck. "I can't imagine the kind of person that would do something like that," Tracy Smith said.

But it was more than just a tree to Jane, it was a Christmas tree. "We do it for the neighbors," she said in tears. "It's just sad."

Tracy said he was shaken by his wife's reaction. "She's just all torn up and I'm watching this and I think, no, this is Christmas time and you're supposed to be happy," he said.

He decided to do something about it and went down into his basement and went to work. When he was done, shortly after midnight Thursday, he had built a 4-foot by 8-foot sign. Using two 4X4's as posts, he placed it in his front yard, over the hole where the tree was.

The sign reads: "STOLEN CHRISTMAS TREE, $1,000 reward for info leading to arrest & conviction of criminal. Contact tracy.smith@usa.com."

"I could buy eight of those trees for the money," he said. "It's not the money. It's the fact that somebody has such disregard for Christmas."

"They don't have a heart and they don't know what
Christmas means," his wife said. "Christmas is about giving, sharing and enjoying people and the people around you, and it's just heartbreaking."

So, for this Christmas, the neighbor's lights will outshine the Smith's. But they say it won't ruin Christmas for them. After all, they have a sign, a sign of hope.

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