Christmas tree thieves caught out by trail of the lonesome pines

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The owner of a nursery who had his stock of Christmas trees stolen turned detective by following a trail of pine needles for half-a-mile to where they had been stashed.

John Dacre awoke to discover someone had taken his Christmas trees, holly wreaths and festive decorations.

The cheeky thieves even stole two of his trolleys to cart off the haul but valuable clues were left behind when the trees shed their pine needles on the journey from the nursery. Mr Dacre and the police followed the trail for half-a-mile until they got to a house where the officers found a stash of trees in the garden.

He said: “I called the police, they were here within minutes and we found this trail of pine needles.

“The funny thing is that they were supposed to be ‘low needle drop’ trees which don’t shed so easily, but thankfully they dropped enough for us to follow.

“All the time I was thinking the trail would end, but while the needles got less and less, it just carried on.”

Five trees were eventually recovered and taken back to Park House Nurseries in Liversedge, West Yorkshire.

Following the incident, last Sunday, a police spokesman said: “The festive foliage led officers to a house where the stolen trees were found and recovered.

“As an extra present, officers also found a cannabis farm at the address.”

A 17-year-old has been arrested and bailed in connection with the incident.