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Tree Thief Shovels Up A Lot Of Trouble

 

A Newhall resident spotted just the trees he was looking for to plant in his yard on Friday afternoon.

 

Pulling his pickup truck alongside the trees, he got out a shovel and proceeded to unearth the trees and load them into the bed of the pickup.

 

Trouble is, the trees weren’t in a commercial nursery. They were growing along the Golden State Freeway, near Wayne Mills Road in Valencia.

 

Sheriff’s deputies received a call around 2:30 p.m. about the light-fingered landscaper and CHP officers arrived to hold on to the culprit until deputies could arrest him.

 

Nicholas Stafford, 54, is now a guest of the county, in custody at the Santa Clarita Valley station.

 

“The trees were valued high enough to make it grand theft,” said Sgt. James Schallert, making Stafford’s situation a felonious one.

The bail amount was still being determined.