Afton Police Looking for a Christmas Tree Thief

Afton, VA -The Nelson County Sheriff's office says several Christmas trees were stolen over the weekend and it's affecting more than just holiday cheer.

The Rockfish Valley Community Center sells Christmas trees every year as one of its biggest fundraisers.

The executive director says they're out $400 to $500, and they're asking for the public's help.

Afton may seem like a far cry from "Whoville", but what happened this weekend at the Rockfish Valley Community Center seemed like something you'd only read about in a Dr. Seuss story.

"You just went white. It was like 'What do you mean the trees are missing?,'" Stu Mills said.

Ten Christmas trees, valued at $40 each were snatched up sometime between Thursday and Saturday morning.

Nelson County investigators aren't ruling anything out. They say the missing trees could be anything from a misunderstanding to a prank, or even a tree bandit.

"Based on the number of trees in question, it would put the value up over $200. So, it would be a felony charge for grand larceny at this point," said investigator Billy Mays.

"We'd just like to get the word out to the community. That if you see somebody on the side of the road selling Christmas trees that are spiraled bound with blue twine, you might want to ask them if they've got a bill of sale for them," Mills said.

Selling Christmas trees is the second biggest fundraiser for the Rockfish Valley Community Center. An embezzlement case against a former employee has made this even tougher for the non-profit.

"This is maybe the worst of all years to happen to us," Mills said.

Stu Mills is hoping the grinch has a change of heart, or the public can help him close this chapter.

"My message to the grinch is you must have really needed money in the worst way and you got it in the worst way," Mills explained.

This isn't the first time the sheriff's office has heard about stolen Christmas trees.

Contact Crimestoppers at 888-798-5900 if you have any information.