Birmingham police are investigating the early morning incident where copper thieves took decorations off the holiday display and burned down the tree. Officials say the incident occurred around 4 a.m. Thieves took off the lights and used gasoline to separate the plastic from the copper, resulting in the apparent accidental tree torching.
Public works crews this morning took down the charred remains of the holiday display.The 35-foot tall Norwegian Spruce came from North Carolina and won't be replaced.
Melvin Miller, city parks and recreation director, said this is the first time there has been any major damage to the display.
"It's not good. It kind of dampens the seasons, but we still know what this season is all about. It's not about a tree," Miller said. "This is the first time that has ever happened. We've had ornaments taken from the tree but nothing like this."
Call me a cost/benefit kind of guy but it occurs to me that all the work it takes to steal a bunch of copper wiring and strip it with gasoline would be less profitable than going and getting a job.
Burning down a Christmas tree?
Now that's "progressive"!