GROVE CITY, Pa. (WKBN) – A man in Grove City is facing charges after police say he took trees from a park. Danny Como, 66, said he asked for permission and thought he was allowed to do it.
Some usual things people steal are cell phones, money or maybe keys, but not 26 pine trees.
Over in Grove City’s Memorial Park, you can find an area where trees were torn down due to their age.
“So when we removed the large trees, we were hopeful that these smaller trees were going to fill in and replace those trees that had to be removed,” said Vance Oakes, manager of the borough of Grove City.
The trees were about 2 to 3 feet tall, but the police were alerted that someone was taking them.
“He didn’t have permission to do it. Logic would make it that you’re taking it from a public park,” said Grove City Police Chief Dean Osborne.
Como said he called the mayor to ask for permission. He said he left two messages.
“Is it OK if I go and pull some evergreen seedlings? I said, ‘If I don’t hear from you today, I’m going to go out tomorrow and I’ll take it as OK,'” Como said.
Como never heard back, so he proceeded to take some of the trees and line them along his backyard to eventually use them for privacy. He said he didn’t know he wasn’t allowed to take them. That’s when a passer-by notified police.
“He had observed them removing three while he was watching. He actually filmed them doing this on his phone,” Chief Osborne said.
But Como said he didn’t know why he was being recorded on a cell phone. He thought it had to do with the woman who was with him at the time.
“I was probably 50 yards from the other person. He was more filming the woman and following her than me. I had no idea. I was like, woah, what’s this guy doing?” Como said.
Police later showed up at his home to talk to him about taking the trees. They thought he only took three and he told them it was a lot more.
“I said no, I took, I said I’m going to guess 12 to 15. I said that’s a guess, I didn’t count them,” Como said.
Como said he is willing to give the trees back.
He is facing charges of theft by unlawful taking, according to the Grove City Police Department.