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South Bend homeowner says tree thief stole pine out of yard

South Bend's Douglas Mappin says someone stole a tree out of his yard // WSBT 22 photo{ }

A South Bend man claims someone cut down a fully grown tree in his yard.

Douglas Mappin believes it happened after midnight on Monday, December 4th.

He thinks someone took it to use as a Christmas tree or to sell it.

That tree had sentimental value for Mappin. He and his son planted it almost 20 years ago when it was a foot tall and looked as if it would die.

"My son and I did it together," says Mappin. "You know, you water plants and it took off and it was just something special for us. My mom has always asked me 'Why don't you put lights on it?' and I go 'Someone will steal them!' and then instead they took the tree."

Mappin says someone drove to his house, cut the tree down with a chainsaw and took it.

According to the New York Times, there is a national Christmas Tree shortage this year and trees are more expensive. That is because fewer trees were planted a decade ago during the recession.

It is unclear why Mappin's tree was stolen.

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