In a happy ending to a puzzling theft, Dayna Greenbaum’s monkey puzzle tree was returned to her on Feb. 7, a week after it was stolen from her front yard.
The 7-ft, 400-lb tree was taken from her home in the 17800-block of 57A Avenue sometime in the night on Jan. 31, and Greenbaum reported the theft in the late afternoon of Friday, Feb. 2.
She took to social media to post about the missing tree, worth an estimated $2,500, which she described as “part of our family.”
“We have been taking care and watching it grow for seven years,” she wrote. “I don’t know what happened.”
Meanwhile, local police officers had already spotted the distinctive monkey puzzle tree.
“The unique tree was spotted by our Cloverdale District 4 Community Response Unit (CRU) members on Feb. 1 before it was reported stolen,” said Surrey RCMP Corporal Scotty Schumann.
When the call came in on Friday afternoon that the monkey tree they had spotted was stolen property, the officers returned to the area where they had seen it, only to discover the tree had disappeared.
According to Schumann, RCMP officers questioned several people in the area as to the tree’s whereabouts and the stolen property was later turned over to police on Feb. 6. “I guess you could say the thief was feeling the heat!” said Schumann.
The monkey tree was immediately returned to its rightful owner, who was extremely grateful.
“A huge thank you to the RCMP Community Response Unit Cloverdale!!” Greenbaum wrote on Facebook. “Your hard work does not go unnoticed. This is the perfect example of a happy ending and I know that for many people it’s not … we feel very fortunate.”
“It is a great feeling being part of community that cares,” she wrote, thanking the support of her friends who had “been supportive and encouraged [her] not to give up.”
In an interview with the Cloverdale Reporter, Greenbaum said she didn’t care who took the tree, she was just happy to have it returned to her. “It was on the lam for a week,” she said. “I never expected to have it returned.”
With the help of friends, Greenbaum re-planted the tree last night. It has a few broken branches and a bit of “road rash,” but is expected to make a full recovery.
The file remains under investigation to determine who stole the tree or was in possession of the tree before it was surrendered to RCMP.