Tree thief leaves Calgary restaurant stumped

A Calgary restaurant is appealing for help to find a man who stole two rare Japanese Maple trees in the early hours of Monday morning while out walking his dog.

Royale Brasserie owner is asking for help to identify the thief and his canine partner in crime

A man with his dog was caught on camera stealing two valuable trees on 17 Avenue early Monday. 0:36

A Calgary restaurant is appealing for help to find a man who stole two rare Japanese maple trees in the early hours of Monday morning while out walking his dog.

Security camera footage from the newly-opened Royale Brasserie shows the man uprooting two decorative trees from two large planters on a deserted 17 Avenue S.W. around 3 a.m. on Monday.

The man has his Jack Russell dog on a leash.

Devin Morrison, director of operations at the brasserie, posted security footage to an Instagram account.

"I started laughing out loud at first. I've never seen anything like this. To see that little dog being dragged around was priceless," says Morrison.

"We had a very cool florist we worked with who drove to B.C. to pick those trees up. They're very difficult to find and very valuable."

Morrison says he's offering an all-expenses paid night out on the town for anyone with information who can help get his trees returned.

The interior of the Royale Brasserie. A thief made off with two expensive Japanese maple trees from the front of the building overnight Monday. (Royale Brasserie )

He hasn't involved the police, but hopes the video shames the thief into doing the right thing.

"It seems like maybe they live in the neighbourhood, and I don't know how many little Jack Russells there are walking around here."

Morisson says the moral support, especially from other restaurants in the city, has been overwhelming.

He says it's unfortunate to lose his prized trees, but the response on social media has turned out to be a lot of fun.