Family believes machinery was used to steal 20-year-old trees from front yard

Hannah Sparks 6 November 2020 33
Pencil trees in the front yard of the Bonython home

Two of three 20-year-old pencil pine trees have been stolen from a Bonython family’s home. Photo: Supplied.

A Canberra family is asking members of the public to help catch the thieves who took trees that were planted in their front yard 20 years ago.

The Bonython couple – who wished to remain anonymous – is missing two of three pencil pine trees that were pruned into spirals next to their driveway.

They believe the trees were stolen while they were at work on Thursday (5 November).

Two trees were stolen

The family believes the thieves used machinery to steal the trees.

Their neighbours were at home on Thursday, however, no one saw the trees being taken.

The couple’s daughter, Diana, said her father planted the trees when she and her siblings were children and that the family was “heartbroken”.

“Our garden used to be nothing at all and my parents landscaped everything themselves … with their own hands, blood and sweat,” Diana said.

“It was raining, so it’s as if the person knew the soil would be softer and no one would be outside or looking outside.”

The family expected to find the trees nearby if they were stolen by children, which is exactly what happened to the family several years ago.

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“If it was just kids, they would have pulled it out, had their fun and chucked it around the corner. I think it was someone who wants to sell the trees and make a bit of money or someone who wanted them for their own backyard,” Diana said.

The family also believes that the trees were taken with machinery because the roots would be well-established after 20 years.

“Where the trees were taken was left looking quite clean, so we suspect they were towed out or someone used a shovel. I don’t think they would have been taken by hand, it would have been too hard,” Diana said.

The trees are around 1.8 to 2 metres high.

The family can’t put a dollar value on the trees but is saddened by the amount of time and care they put into the trees for them only to be stolen.

“Now when you drive into the driveway, you see they’re gone,” Diana said.

The family is urging anyone who knows anything about the missing trees to contact police.

They have reported the trees as missing to police and are monitoring buy, swap and sell Facebook pages in case someone tries to sell the trees.

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33 Responses to Family believes machinery was used to steal 20-year-old trees from front yard
Naomi Chisholm Naomi Chisholm 2:52 pm 09 Nov 20

Wth how pathetic are some people

Maria Garreffa Maria Garreffa 8:48 am 09 Nov 20

Vera Vujic and we were upset about our two little plants🤦🏻‍♀️

Angie Scifleet Angie Scifleet 4:07 pm 07 Nov 20

Exactly Samantha Vrins wtf. People are grubs.

Barney Voveris Barney Voveris 3:25 pm 07 Nov 20

You should get somebody to fly a Drone around you might find them that way hopefully you’re parents get them back thieving mongrels they should have their fingers crushed or their hands cut off

Sohela Khanam Sohela Khanam 9:37 am 07 Nov 20

So unbearable!

russianafroman russianafroman 12:05 am 07 Nov 20

These aren’t gardeners doing this. These are trans-state thieves selling these things for thousands across the country. Impossible to trace, very easy to take and very easy to flip. If you have nice trees out the front of your house that are easy to nab, please install security cameras and catch these pieces of work. No doubt it is one or two guys with some old van grabbing them and running off across state with equivalent thousands and thousands of dollars. They get rich while your garden becomes barren.

russianafroman russianafroman 12:02 am 07 Nov 20

Important to note how expensive those shaped trees are. They can go for thousands. So much work, time and effort goes into growing them. These people have items worth thousands sat in their front yard unguarded. It definitely seems that thieves are wising up to this fact and how much money there is in this.

Jane Elizabeth Jane Elizabeth 10:43 pm 06 Nov 20

What the? People just don't care what they steel

PJ Oreskovic PJ Oreskovic 8:41 pm 06 Nov 20

Thats screwed

Suzi Suzi Suzi Suzi 8:21 pm 06 Nov 20

My God! So sad

Lisa Boniface Lisa Boniface 7:49 pm 06 Nov 20

This is just awful! Someone takes the time to make their garden beautiful and this happens ☹️

Sue Booth Sue Booth 7:31 pm 06 Nov 20

That’s disgusting

Sarah Moore Sarah Moore 7:14 pm 06 Nov 20


Astrid Smith Astrid Smith 6:11 pm 06 Nov 20

Terrible people who did this. Hope karma bites them back hard.

Peter Manger Peter Manger 6:04 pm 06 Nov 20

Pretty pathetic.

    Donovan Manger Donovan Manger 9:05 pm 06 Nov 20

    You’re a top fan, I was a top fan of a page once

Daniel Apps Daniel Apps 6:01 pm 06 Nov 20

A very low act and makes you wonder why someone would do such a thing. I’m sure machinery wouldn’t have been used as would have alerted neighbours. Worst part is that they probably won’t survive being replanted this time of year.

Robert Bromberg Robert Bromberg 5:44 pm 06 Nov 20

Michella Ford that's unbelievable.. maybe some lowlife forgot to buy an Aldi Xmas tree?

Cathy Sorrentino Cathy Sorrentino 4:48 pm 06 Nov 20

Disgusting people

Krystle Lollback Krystle Lollback 4:22 pm 06 Nov 20

Ben better move the espaliers 😬

steve2020 steve2020 4:04 pm 06 Nov 20

Why bother having valuable trees and plants in the front yard anymore? Not only is it akin to showing off, they are vulnerable to being stolen. Though it doesn’t happen often, for many years, I have observed through the sheer curtain of the front window, people off all ages trespassing and stealing flowers and fruit trees without permission.

    Maya123 Maya123 11:11 pm 06 Nov 20

    “Showing off!” You think it’s showing off to take pride and put work into the garden ?! Only someone who is not willing to do this, would think this “Showing off.”

    steve2020 steve2020 10:02 am 07 Nov 20

    It’s more about being circumspect. I have the valuable and ornamental aesthetic plants in the back garden for taking pride in the garden and work.

    russianafroman russianafroman 12:00 am 07 Nov 20

    I wouldn’t say having nice trees is akin to showing off. I don’t think we’re in such dire straits yet to suggest people can’t have trees.

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