Tree thieves strike at Savoy elementary school

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SAVOY--Where there was once a tall evergreen tree, there is now a gaping hole in the group after not just one, but two trees were chopped down in the middle of the night and stolen from Carrie Busey Elementary School.

When Yoon Pak, who lives across the street from the school, peeked out her window Tuesday morning, the scene was suddenly void of any holiday cheer.

"We just noticed a huge something missing in the yard," said Pak. "And realized that what we saw was a big huge stump left, not only on the side of this yard, but at the back of our yard too."

"They definitely picked the two best," said Carrie Busey principal, Jeff Scott. "They were beautiful and they're perfect little Christmas trees actually and so it looked like a Christmas tree farm out there."

But a farm where the trees are not for sale. Between 20 and 30 evergreens were planted throughout the Carrie Busey campus when it was built in 2012.

When school administrators noticed two went missing sometime Monday night, they consulted with the Champaign County Sheriff's deputy on duty and filed a police report.

"Just kind of a bummer," said Scott. "You know, to think that at this time of year, so many wonderful things going on, that somebody would come to a school and not only cut down your tree, but take them, and use them for their own."
   
"Well if this is kind of a Christmas tree theft, then it's kind of like the Grinch who stole the Christmas trees," said Pak.

But this year, Santa is making an early stop at the school.

"The Savoy  Rotary is going to work with the district to donate two trees back to the district so that they can be replaced right away," said Scott.

The two new trees come at a cost of $550.
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