Yakima Arboretum memorial tree hacked and stolen

YAKIMA - Thieves took aim at The Yakima Arboretum by cutting down and stealing a memorial tree from the park.

The groundskeeper noticed the tree missing Tuesday morning.

The Arboretum's executive director says the tree came to Yakima from Oregon and was planted in memory of a supporter.

She thinks the thieves will most likely use it as a Christmas tree.

It's not the first time something like this happened there.

"It happened about 10-years ago, but not in my recent memory. It's kind of surprising, but as you can see it's a beautiful tree. Unfortunately, it's also very rare and unusual so it's very disappointing," said Yakima Arboretum Co-Executive Director Jheri Ketcham.

The Arboretum locks its gates at night and responded by putting protective wiring around the remaining memorial trees.