Thieves dig up Japanese maple trees from Fondren yards

Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 7:02 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - When you think you’ve heard it all, those with bad intentions have upped the game. Some pricey items that were in plain sight have now gone missing.

Not only do Fondren residents have to worry about stolen cars and other valuables, but now thieves are targeting their yards and taking trees, particularly Japanese maple trees.

“It wasn’t on our radar to have to protect our trees, but it is,” said Emily Tarver.

She and her husband Nathan were shocked to discover that the seven-foot Japanese Maple they planted in their yard about a year ago had suddenly disappeared. Someone boldly dug up the tree that stood in the front yard of their Crane Boulevard home.

“Our yard person came the next day and asked if we had taken our tree down,” said Emily Tarver. “And that’s how we first found out about it because we actually didn’t notice it until the yard guys came by and noticed that it was just gone.”

They aren’t alone. About half a mile away on Old Canton Road, another large Japanese Maple was first stolen from the front yard of this home. The surprised owner posted a warning to neighbors on social media.

“Clearly, whoever’s taking these trees is somewhat knowledgeable about tree species and very specific about what they want,” said Tarver.

Four-year-old Mills Tarver is glad the tree napper didn’t set their sights on the one he loves to climb. No surveillance video captured the theft on the street off busy Old Canton Road.

“Hopefully, whoever did this can be caught, and we don’t have to continue to contend with this in Jackson or anywhere in the area. It’s unfortunate,” added Tarver.

The family filed a police report and said the officer was just as surprised about the theft. So far, no suspects have been identified.

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