Stolen Christmas trees recovered; arrest made - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Stolen Christmas trees recovered; arrest made

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Police arrested 25-year-old Sorrell Porter, who they said was a target of the investigation. (Waterbury police) Police arrested 25-year-old Sorrell Porter, who they said was a target of the investigation. (Waterbury police)
(WFSB file photo) (WFSB file photo)
WATERBURY, CT (WFSB) -

Christmas trees stolen from a Catholic school in Waterbury have been recovered and were part of a large theft ring, according to police.

More than 10 of the trees were stolen from Saints Peter & Paul School the weekend after Thanksgiving.

The school said it sells them to help with tuition assistance.

Police confirmed on Wednesday that the trees were found based on tips they received. They were in a garage on Meriden Road.

"They are dead and discolored and I'm sure it has a lot to do with the way they were stored," said Bart Cammarasana, co-president of SSPP.

Police also said it was part of a major theft ring operating within the city.

Police arrested 25-year-old Serell Porter, who they said was a target of the investigation.

Trees weren't the only things found. Hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of goods were found stored at a North Main Street lot. Also found were a stun gun conducted electrical weapon, Oxycodone, a loaded .380 caliber handgun holding 11 rounds of ammunition, and 106 cases of consumer grade fireworks.

Items included over-the-counter prescriptions, clothing, bedding, contractor equipment and fireworks.

Porter was charged with criminal possession of a pistol or revolver, illegal possession of a controlled narcotic, possession of narcotics with intent to sell, criminal possession of a dangerous weapon, and illegal possession of fireworks.

Police said more charges could be brought against Porter.

While the trees were returned, Cammarasana said they received more than enough donations from people to cover their program. So they'll instead seek to "pay it forward."

Cammarasana said the school will bring the excess money from their donations to a scout group that suffered a similar heist in Hamden.

As for the trees, they're back in the SSPP lot. Neighbors said they'll be looking to help keep an eye out for potential thieves.

"There's security cameras and we have so many people watching right so they'll get caught right away," said Janet Michaud, a neighbor

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