Here is all that remains of the Fat Albert Colorado Blue Spruce that Carpentersville purchased three years ago as an Arbor Day gift to the community.
Brian Hill | Staff Photographer
Somewhere out there, there's a Grinch celebrating Christmas around an 8-foot-tall Fat Albert Colorado Blue Spruce tree.
The tree was stolen from Carpenter Park on Carpentersville's east side in the past week or so.
Village officials say the tree, which was planted as part of the village's 2007 Arbor Day celebrations, was sawed off and removed sometime after Thanksgiving. Public Works Director Bob Cole said crews noticed the tree missing last Monday.
"You will be caught and prosecuted," Cole said.
The Colorado Blue Spruce is considered an ideal living Christmas tree because of its dense branching and pyramid shape.
Although Carpenter Park is often the target of vandals who have kicked down a walk bridge and damaged playground equipment, village staffers says the theft of the tree was calculated and isolated.
"Someone has had their eye on that tree for a while," Economic Development and Special Projects Coordinator Janice Murphy said. "It was targeted. For it to happen right before Christmas, someone had that planned for a while."
The village did not decorate the large tree on the south end of the park because vandals have repeatedly torn down strands of lights and damaged timers on the tree in the last few years.
"We try so hard, whether they are large improvements or small improvements, to improve the quality of life for our residents and then something like this happens," Trustee Judy Sigwalt said. "I wish someone would be more considerate. The trees are there for all people to enjoy."
A missing tree is a first for the Carpentersville police department, which had not received a complaint from the village.
The closest thing to a tree napping, Police Cmdr. Timothy Bosshart said, was a resident once reporting more than $1,000 worth of shrubbery stolen from a newly landscaped front yard.