Calgary

Man arrested as stolen Japanese maple trees returned to Calgary restaurant

Two rare Japanese maple trees stolen from outside a Calgary restaurant early Monday morning have been returned.

Restaurant says Calgary police recovered the trees after security video hit social media on Wednesday

Devin Morrison, director of operations with the Teatro Restaurant Group (right) and corporate executive chef Dominique Moussu (left) receiving the stolen trees from Calgary police officers Thursday morning. (Royale Brasserie)

Two rare Japanese maple trees stolen from outside a Calgary restaurant early Monday morning have been returned.

Security camera footage showed a man uprooting the two decorative trees from large planters around 3 a.m. on Monday.

The video was uploaded to an Instagram account, which was quickly shared among Calgarians.

"It's just another example of how powerful social media can be," says Devin Morrison, director of operations with the Teatro Restaurant Group, which owns the newly-opened Royale Brasserie on 17 Avenue S.W. 

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

The man in the video was seen wrestling the trees from the planters while holding his Jack Russell dog on a leash.

Morrison says Calgary police told him they have arrested a man in connection with the theft.

"The trees are back and in fantastic condition. We already have them replanted and they're back where they were on Monday morning," says Morrison.

He says moral support, from the public and other restaurants, has been overwhelming. 

"Hopefully by now everybody knows to try to respect them and to leave the trees where they are."