Wednesday, April 16, 2014

‘Tree killer’ caught on tape

Tree Vandal 4-26-13

AN INFRARED CAMERA captured the back of a suspect cutting down trees on personal property at 1 a.m. on April 26. Photo courtesy Robert Deitz

From page A3 | May 20, 2013 | 10 Comments

Last December, Robert Deitz was the victim of a tree killing spree on Lotus Road, where someone chopped down about 20 trees in the middle of the night. On April 26, they struck for a third time since the initial incident.

Deitz said that “there is a serial tree killer on the loose along Lotus Road,” noting he knew of two other properties that had been hit. This time, however, he has photographic evidence of someone killing his trees.

An infrared camera captured the back of the suspect, Deitz said. The suspect cut down five trees at 1 a.m.

Now, “the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Dept has someone assigned to this now as he has attacked several properties, and continues to do so,” Deitz said.

In March, Bridget Heifner found trees just 50 feet from her front door cut down on Cold Springs Road. “The cyprus trees were so gorgeous,” she mused. Two trees, one 20 feet tall and one 15 feet tall, had been on what she called “Leprechaun Hill” on her property, a part of her land both she and her sister cherished.

Whoever cut the trees down, Heifner said, used handsaws and disengaged sensor lights.

“Why would they cut down my cyprus trees? If it were Christmastime, I would understand,” she said.

The trees were 10 feet away from a fishing boat full of supplies — worth far more than the trees. Nothing was taken from the boat, and the trees were left on the property, as if gently laid down only a foot or two from the stumps. “I really, really don’t understand,” Heifner said.

Although Deitz’s trees were attacked in the early morning hours, Heifner thought she saw lights outside between 10:30 and 11 p.m. but thought nothing of it, as her motion sensor lights would kick on if anyone got close. Later, she found what appeared to be more than one set of footprints in her yard. Wondering how they would react if they were called, she called the tree cutters “real gutsy.”

“It scares me,” she said.

She said that she and her husband, Larry, were “totally baffled.” The missing trees on Leprechaun Hill will “break my sister’s heart. I don’t understand why someone could be so cruel as to kill a tree. Leprechaun Hill doesn’t look the same.”

Anyone with information on who has been cutting down trees is encouraged to call the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office.



Discussion | 10 comments

  • francescaduchamp@att.netMay 19, 2013 - 10:02 am

    Many strange things are happening all over--some are saying Pollock Pines is becoming unruly--I like when a total scammer sat right in one of these town meetings...and was caught the next day sleeping in a vacancy--uh...and they spoke as CEDAPP...I told the police that he had been at the meeting. That meeting was videoed as well--I can still identiy the man. interesting video--I had left for awhile and it heated up

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  • Sawtooth SlimMay 20, 2013 - 9:04 am

    Well, not a whole lot of useable video. We can be on the lookout for some idiots ass.

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  • francescaduchamp@att.netMay 20, 2013 - 9:08 am


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  • francescaduchamp@att.netMay 20, 2013 - 9:17 am

    Looks like a "she" maybe she is sleep walking and not a malevolent - spiteful - vicious - malignant - wicked tree "killer"--but an unaware tree remover in her "dream world."

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  • Matt KMay 21, 2013 - 7:28 pm

    I lost 8 cedars from my property back in October. Caught the guy in the act of stripping the bark off the last, tallest tree. Unfortunately he runs faster than I do and made it back to his car while I was still gasping for air. Every time I walk past the stumps, I comment on his ancestry.

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  • MACMay 21, 2013 - 10:47 pm

    Obviously a complete numb-skull! How dumb can somebody actually be to cut down trees for no reason? Hope they are reading this!! Look out, karma will get you!

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  • John R.May 29, 2013 - 2:09 pm

    Matt K. give me a ring, I'd like to hear about your incident. You might have the lead we're looking for. Detective Robertson (530) 643-4722

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  • John R.May 29, 2013 - 2:11 pm

    Let's try this again. (530) 642-4722

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  • EvelynMay 29, 2013 - 2:35 pm

    Appears to be female, under 35, medium height, in her pg's. That should narrow it down! I hope she's caught.

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  • EvelynMay 29, 2013 - 2:36 pm

    . . . pj's

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