Spirit of St. Louis – Pick Your Charity, Pick Your Car

Thieves take Christmas trees meant to benefit sick children

UPDATE:  Volunteers at the lot say a St. Louis man drove over to that tree lot last night and gave them $300  in cash to make up for the loss.  The man who gifted the money says he wants to remain anonymous and says he did it out of respect for the volunteers at the lot who help so many.

WOOD RIVER, Ill. — Police are searching for a Christmas tree thief in the Metro East. The money from the sale of the trees would have benefited sick children in the hospital.

Volunteers at the Alt-Wood Christmas tree lot said one or two trees have gone missing over the years. But this year, volunteers said that six trees have been stolen.

The trees would have sold for a total of $300. The money from the trees would have benefitted sick children at St. Louis area Shriners hospitals. Volunteers with the club said they've sold trees at the lot for 30 years. Everybody who comes to the lot knows the money goes to help sick children.

"They stole from the kids. That's what we do. Everything is for the kids," said Donald Huber, a volunteer with Alt-Wood tree lot. "I sure hope whoever got them has a lot of kids and will enjoy the trees, but this is kind of devastating for us. This is how we make our money to operate and to support other charities other than the hospitals."

Volunteers said that they hope whoever got the trees have children, so they will enjoy them. Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact the Wood River Police Department at 618-251-3114 and ask for Officer Greene.