Crime

Grover Beach Christmas tree thief sought by police

Man caught on video stealing Christmas tree in Grover Beach

Police are looking for a man who was caught on surveillance video stealing a decorative Christmas tree from the front of Automotive Service Center in Grover Beach on Dec. 3, 2015.
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Police are looking for a man who was caught on surveillance video stealing a decorative Christmas tree from the front of Automotive Service Center in Grover Beach on Dec. 3, 2015.

Grover Beach police are asking the public for help locating a man who stole a Christmas tree from a Grover Beach business last week.

On Friday, an employee with Automotive Service Center, located at 583 W. Grand Ave., told police that a man had stolen a spiral, light-up decorative tree from the front of the business, according to a news release from the Grover Beach Police Department.

The theft happened overnight, and the suspect’s Grinch-like behavior was captured by the business’ surveillance camera.

“I thought I would be really angry if something like this happened, but, really, I was just disgusted,” said Linda Hollingsworth, the owner of Automotive Service Center. “I figure obviously he needed it more than I did, considering how he just walked up and took it, but I was still disappointed.”

Hollingsworth said she decorated the storefront for the Grover Beach Holiday of Lights decorating contest for the first time in the store’s 30 years of business. The business won an honorable mention for its decorations.

About four hours after final judging for the competition wrapped up Thursday, the man walked up to the business, unplugged the tree and left with it, Hollingsworth said.

The man did not take any of the store’s other decorations, including a snowman and large snowflake that Hollingsworth said she now worries will be stolen as well.

“I really don’t know how I feel about decorating again next year,” she said. “It’s costly, and if people are just going to walk away with things, it’s not worth it.”

Hollingsworth said the stolen tree was worth approximately $65.

Anyone with information about the identity of the suspect is asked to contact the Grover Beach Police Department’s watch commander at 473-4511 or Crime Stoppers at 549-7867.

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