Police trying to determine how the Grinch Stole Christmas trees

Posted: Tuesday, December 12, 2000

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- And then there's the story about how the Grinch stole Christmas trees in this Interior city.

Someone made off with nearly two-dozen Christmas trees from a lot that were to have been sold to raise money for a Healy hockey club and the Healy Chamber of Commerce, Fairbanks police said.

The Scotch pine trees had been bundled and bound and stored beneath a semitrailer.

''It was strictly vandals,'' said Minnesota businessman Tom Young, who arrived at his trailer early Sunday to find the trees gone. ''I'm sure they went out in the woods and had a bonfire.''

The bundled trees were part of a larger tree crop on sale. A driver was supposed to have picked them up in the middle of the night for delivery to Healy.

''We anticipate it (theft) if we would have put them out on display,'' Young told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

Young had trucked around 1,000 trees to Alaska from a tree farm near Mora, Minn. That's about 65 miles north of Minneapolis.

He dropped 200 trees in Anchorage and then set up his trailer in Fairbanks. It was his first holiday sales trip to the city.

Young had been selling the trees with the help of his 81-year-old father, Harry, and volunteers from two hockey teams. The trailer is open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Fairbanks police said there wasn't a lot they could do about the theft because no one forcibly entered a shelter to steal the trees.

''Unless somebody saw them being dragged away, there's not much that can be done about it,'' Fairbanks Police Sgt. Ron Bowers said Monday.

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