Tree thieves ran off with most of a blue spruce tree they cut outside the Arbor Hall event center.

“I’m sure that someone is using it right now as a Christmas tree,” said Molly Pagels, who operates Arbor Hall at 14040 Arbor St. “We have (surveillance) video of them cutting it down, but it was 2:30 in the morning, so it’s hard to see them.”

The incident occurred Nov. 28 near a back corner of the hall, which is rented for weddings and other special events. The surveillance video shows two people with a handsaw cutting off the top 6 feet off the tree and carrying it toward nearby apartments.

At one point in the video, Pagels said, a car drove by, prompting the thieves to drop the tree and lie on the ground until the vehicle passed.

Pagels estimated the value of the tree, planted four years ago, at $250.

“They cut down about two-thirds of the tree, so now we have to pay for our landscaper to cut down the rest and plant a new tree,” Pagels said. “You can’t print what I think of these people in the paper.”

Anyone with information about the incident should contact Crime Stoppers at 402-444-STOP or at omahacrimestoppers.org. Tipsters remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward for information that leads to an arrest.

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kevin.cole@owh.com, 402-444-1272

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