Palm trees stolen from Riverside yard

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – While a Riverside couple was away on Saturday, someone came to their yard, dug up two of their palm trees and hauled them away in a pickup truck.

A neighbor took video and pictures of the crime, not knowing at the time that it was happening without permission from the homeowners. He said it took the man hours to dig up the trees and get them in his pickup.

When the couple came home, there were two big holes in the yard where their two, 3-4 foot Sabal palm trees used to sit.

The neighbors thought it was funny more than sinister.

Homeowner Renee Garber said she hopes that someone will recognize the man and call police.

"I was hoping maybe somebody did hire him and he got the wrong address, but the mess he left in the yard," Garber said. "I mean, you left the roots. He hacked off all the roots from the tree, so I don't even think they're re-plantable."

Garber said it would cost hundreds of dollars to replace trees that size, and they worry that someone would just steal them again.

Anyone who recognizes the man in the photo is asked to call the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500.

About the Author:

Kent Justice co-anchors News4Jax's 5 p.m., 10 and 11 p.m. newscasts weeknights and reports on government and politics. He also hosts "This Week in Jacksonville," Channel 4's hot topics and politics public affairs show each Sunday morning at 9 a.m.