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).
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.
“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.