Following the Thanksgiving holiday, Christmas trees have been taken nightly from a school in Waterbury and now, police are trying to find the people responsible for the thefts.
“It's a church school. That's just not right, it's as low as you can go,” neighbor Joshua Hallee said.
The sights and smells of Christmas were in the air at the Saints Peter and Paul School in Waterbury on Monday. Selling Christmas trees at the school is an annual tradition.
“They range anywhere from $45 to $70,” Advancement Director Linda Galvin said.
The fir trees were out on Monday and the school was stocked with about 80. But for the first time in three years, the inventory has taken a big hit after a thief got away with two dozen of their tallest ones.
“Stealing a Christmas tree, it's like stealing Christmas,” Hallee said.
The proceeds from the Christmas trees go to keep the tuition low for the 120 pre-kindergarteners through eighth graders who go here.
“Our computer lab, our extracurricular activities are subsidized by these extra things our parents do for us,” Galvin said.
The personal connection to the fundraiser hits home for the children.
“They're really disappointed because a lot of these fathers are here every night selling the trees,” Galvin said.
Officials said the crime is happening in the middle of the night. Police are investigating, but only know the suspect is in a red SUV.
Police said the suspect would've likely taken all the trees, if it wasn't for an alert neighbor calling 911.
Right now, there's a makeshift lock on the fence, and neighbors are keeping a close eye on what's going on here.
“I've had Christmases without trees and it does suck, but I mean, that's still something you shouldn't do,” Hallee said.
Officials said there is one way to stop these thefts from happening again and that's wiping them out of the trees the legal way.
Parents will be out here selling them until 10 p.m.
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