Sellers battle Christmas tree crooks in Birmingham, Royal Oak
Thieves swipe 6 Christmas trees from company in Birmingham, it's happened before
The start of the 2012 holiday season officially begins in Birmingham when the Christmas trees go on sale at The Plant Station.
Wyatt Brewer knows trees and his customers.
"It's a tight-knit community. We know everyone who comes in here and we know them by name and face," he said. "We make deliveries. We know where they live."
Despite the friendly, familiar atmosphere, for the past two years Brewer has had to keep his eye out for more than a good tree. The Plant Station has become a target for thieves. This past weekend, a grinch got away with six trees, costing Brewer's garden shop hundreds of dollars.
"It's locked up but they're only 4-foot fences. So if you want to get a tree over the fence it's not that tough. They probably had a pickup truck or something, loaded it up and took off," Brewer said.
It wasn't the first time thieves have hit Brewer's place. The shop lost thousands of dollars last year when 50 trees went missing.
"We work for them. They're our trees. It's our business ... yeah, it's terrible," he said.
Royal Oak tree seller battles thieves with new fence
Over at Ho Ho Ho Company in Royal Oak there have not been any thefts this year. However, they haven't always been so lucky in their 21 years of business. Now there is a fence up for added security.
"The people who would go out and steal a Christmas tree, all I can do is pray for them," said Tom Muir, of the Ho Ho Ho Company.
The Plant Station has put up cameras hoping to catch the thief. If there is a next time, the tree bandits will be caught on video.
"I don't know what they're going to do with them. They are probably going to sell them," said Brewer.