Tree theft hits one Mid South neighborhood

Delicate Japanese Maples grace finely manicured yards across the Mid-South.

An alert neighbor snapped this photo of a shovel toting man they call the Japanese Maple bandit:

Joffre Neighborhood association member Carol Collinsworth says, "Started Easter Sunday morning, first one I knew about. Since then there have been ten incidents."

Four of the purple leaf trees were uprooted from a home in Chickasaw Gardens last week; yet another yard lost five Japanese Maples that their owner valued at 4-hundred dollars each.

The Japanese Maple bandit has struck at least ten times, occasionally branching off to steal Dogwoods, prized potted plants and landscaping lights:

Collinsworth continues, "We've seen one person several times and he fits the same identification."

The Joffre neighborhood...between Poplar and Central... has been hit hard by the tree thefts.

Neighborhood leaders encourage anyone who's missing a cherished tree to report it:

Collinsworth says, "...For all the people who've had trees stolen in the last few weeks, call police and file a report. They can't follow up if they don't file a report."