Man accused of stealing Christmas tree from pet rescue shelter arrested

George Cockhren arrested in theft from November, St. Johns deputies say

Booking photo of George Cockhren.
Booking photo of George Cockhren.

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – A man sought in connection with the theft of a donated Christmas tree at a pet rescue shelter and store has been arrested, the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office said.

George Cockhren, 51, was arrested on the open warrants on April 1, and was taken Friday to St. Johns County.

Deputies said Cockhren was seen driving a dark-colored small pickup truck into the parking lot of the S.A.F.E. Pet Rescue shelter and store at 1250 Old A1A South at 6:19 a.m. Nov. 25.

Cockhren was seen a short time later walking across the front of the building. Deputies said he was seen carrying a large boxed Christmas tree back to his vehicle. He drove off north on A1A.

Surveillance images and video of Cockhren were released. Deputies said a short time following the release a possible suspect was named by a tipster.

Cockhren was positively identified Dec. 21 and an arrest warrant was obtained for charges of burglary and petit theft with a $26,000 bond.

In addition to the warrant, Cockhren was served a VOP (battery on a law enforcement officer) warrant that carries a no bond, deputies said.

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