The latest crime in Carpenter Park has police officers stumped.
The tree was planted by the village as part of its 2007 Arbor Day celebration and served as a living Christmas tree.
Public Works crews noticed the three-year-old tree was missing last Monday. In its place, stood a sawed-off stump.
In past years, pranksters had ripped down lights and decorations from the large Spruce—an ideal Christmas tree due to its shape. The town purposely left it undecorated this year, but now it appears someone just stole the whole tree instead.
But this was no random theft, officials say.
"Someone has had their eye on that tree for a while," Economic Development and Special Projects Coordinator Janice Murphy said, reports the Daily Herald. "It was targeted. For it to happen right before Christmas, someone had that planned for a while."
In other words, someone was stalking the tree.
"I wish someone would be more considerate," said Trustee Judy Sigwalt. "The trees are there for all people to enjoy."
This is, indeed, a crime against nature.