Bunch Of Grinches Take $2K In Christmas Trees From Cut-Your-Own Farm Without Paying


An example of Christmas trees. (Viseskogen)

Everybody’s got to make a living, and for some people, sometimes the most fruitful times to ply your trade only happen for a short period every year. That’s why a Christmas tree farm in Maine that lets customers cut down their own trees is suffering when it should be the most rewarding seasons — it seems the Grinches are out in force, with many people stealing the $40 trees and wreaths instead of paying.

Other holiday shoppers may suffer from higher prices at the farm if Christmas trees continue to cut themselves down and walk off the lot, the owner tells CentralMaine.com. So far, he says about $2,000 worth of seasonal greenery has been lost this season. The trees usually go for about $30, and on Saturday night, about 12 of them disappeared.

“I’m just getting tired of it, and that’s why I called the police today, just to have an officer come over,” said the owner said. He’s moved to the pre-cut trees in an effort to cut down on overnight thefts, but that hasn’t helped.

Part of the the problem is that hundreds of people visit the farm every weekend, and sometimes they just walk off without paying because they get tired of waiting when it’s busy, the owner says. That $2,000 lost this year represents about 5% of the business’ total profit, making it no small matter.

“For a seasonal business that’s pretty substantial. We’re only open four weeks a year. It’s a feel-good product and we operate largely on an honor system. When it gets really busy sometimes people don’t want to wait and they just leave,” he said.

Now that there are a few bad apples in the bunch, it could spoil it for everyone else if the thefts don’t stop — he’ll have no choice but to raise the price of trees for everyone.

“You’re never going to catch a thief, but you can slow it down. We want people to know that we know it’s going on,” he said.

Especially because there’s something so wrong about sitting in front of a brightly lit piece of festive decor that should symbolize something pure and good and loving about a holiday, but instead it was stolen from a small business owner. Try being merry with your ill-gotten trees now, Grinches!

Christmas trees stolen from Norridgewock tree farm [CentralMaine.com]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.