Grinch steals 30 Christmas trees from charity

Thieves stole 30 Christmas trees, worth $5,000 from a charity that helps foster kids that are transitioning out of government care.

Thieves stole $5K worth of Christmas trees from Aunt Leah's Place's annual Christmas tree lot sale

Paul Stewart, the manager of the tree lot in North Vancouver, said he won't let the theft get his spirits down. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

In a scene reminiscent of How the Grinch stole Christmas, thieves made off with $5,000 worth of Christmas trees from Aunt Leah's Place last week.

The organization helps foster kids who are transitioning out of government care. It teaches them life skills and how to make it on their own as adults. 

For the past 20 years, Aunt Leah's Place has raised money for its programs by selling Christmas trees.

But last week, thieves cut through the organization's Londsale Quay tree lot and stole 30 noble firs. 

"You are angry, and like any loss, you feel like why would someone do this?" said Paul Stewart, manager of the North Vancouver lot. 

Stewart said the thieves must've known what they were doing because they only went after the seven and eight foot high noble firs, the most expensive and popular type of trees on the lot. 

"You feel like the Grinch has come and stole Christmas from us," he said.

Cpl. Richard De Jong with North Vancouver RCMP described the theft as very disturbing and said they're searching for the culprits. 

"Several thousand dollars for these trees to be replaced and this is money that is coming from charity, from good will. It is kind of sad this time of year for someone to stoop to that level," said De Jong.

RCMP are canvassing the area and looking for surveillance cameras that may help identify the vehicle or suspects. 

"[We are] just asking the public, if they know of this, or if someone is selling trees on the black market to not buy them and notify the police," he said. 

Last year, the organization raised $325,000 through Christmas tree sales.