December 24, 2008

Thief gives away stolen Christmas trees

A holiday version of Robin Hood allegedly stole Christmas trees from an outdoor lot in West St. Paul, Minn., and plunked them down in area yards, police said.

John Christian Bradley, 36, was arrested on suspicion of theft after eight trees were reported stolen from the lot and showed up in the front yards of area homes, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported Wednesday.

He was in the holiday giving mood but didn't want to pay for them, West St. Paul police Lt. Brian Sturgeon said.

Police said they didn't think twice when they first saw Bradley hauling a tree down the street last week. But when a tree lot attendant reported the theft, officers caught Bradley -- who admitted filching the fir -- tree-handed in the front yard of a nearby home, the Pioneer Press said. Officers said they suspect Bradley stole trees in seven other yards as well.

A breath test administered when Bradley was arrested indicated he had been drinking, police said.

He said he was going to give everybody a Christmas tree and that no one can sell Christmas, Sturgeon said.