Vandals ruined Christmas tree sales

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Somebody ravaged two Christmas tree sales lots in and around Drammen during the night, cutting off the tops of at least 500 trees and rendering them worthless. Police have launched an investigation into the highly unusual case of holiday vandalism.

“I have no idea who would do something like this,” said tree seller Vikram Singh, telling Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) that he’s shocked by the Christmas tree attack. “No one has seen anything or anyone, but the police are helping me.”

Decapitated
Singh operates Lier Planteland but also sells Christmas trees at several locations around Drammen. The first two lots where  the decapitated trees were discovered Thursday morning were outside the Maxbo home furnishings and construction supply store in Lier and at the Dags Marked in Drammen.

Astrid Uhre, who works at the Maxbo lot, arrived at work to find scores of vandalized trees. Some of those that were still wrapped up in netting were intact, but not all.

Police were asking for tips from the public. The website for local newspaper Drammens Tidende, dt.no, reported that by 2pm, police still had few if any leads to follow.

Vandals ‘knew what they were doing’
Bjørnar Bjelland of Christmas tree wholesaler Ligos, which had sold the trees to Lier Planteland for resale, said that the vandals knew what they were doing in their quest to ruin the trees. “They didn’t just break off some branches, but used a special saw,” Bjelland told dt.no. “And they cut the trees under what we call the first and second branch wreaths.” That makes them worthless.

“It wasn’t just kids or punks who are behind this, Bjelland said. “Whoever did this, had some knowledge about Christmas trees.”

Singh, who has sold trees since 2006, said the trees would have sold for as much as NOK 500 each (more than USD 80), so his losses are considerable.

“This is terrible, not just for the owner who suffers a big loss, but also for folks who intended to go out and buy their trees this weekend” Bjelland said. Norwegians often don’t put up their trees and decorate them until Lille julaften (Little Christmas Eve) on December 23, but then leave them up until well into January.

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund