2 'Grinches' stole a restaurant's Christmas tree: Greeley restaurant caught the crime on camera

GREELEY, Colo. - 'Twas taken overnight,

Victims discovered at first light,

Surveillance recorded the crime,

That we'll describe in rhyme.


A Christmas Tree was taken,

While Stuft Burger Bar was vacant.

It happened Wednesday in Greeley,

Where a night vision camera captured it all, really!


"You see everything," Jake Fitzsimmons said.

2 men recorded at 2 a.m. in infrared.

One struggled to take the tree,

And another took fake presents in the spree.


But that does not end the rhyme,

They came back on camera another time.

"The ultimate Grinch move," Jake said,

Decorations destroyed while he was in bed.


Jake also called the police,

To share the information he released.

He said he won't settle,

'Til the suspects are behind bars of metal.



Stuft Burger Bar says the Christmas tree outside their restaurant in Greeley was stolen around 2 a.m. Wednesday. The local restaurant chain had put the tree out on Friday, hung ornaments and wrapped some empty boxes to display underneath.

Owner Jake Fitzsimmons told 7NEWS he had surveillance video of the crime and Greeley Police confirmed that an officer was dispatched to see it.

"It’s a bird's eye view and it’s a great view, you see everything," the owner said.

The video, Fitzsimmons said, was recorded by a time-lapse camera equipped with night vision. One of the men appears on the greenish video first, struggling to move the tree before he waves another man over. The suspects eventually get the tree and one carries it away while another scoops up an armload of presents.

Although they walk out of range of the camera for a moment, Fitzsimmons said at least one of the suspects returned to the field of view.

"He comes back and starts kicking the boxes and messing it up one final time-- the ultimate Grinch move," he said.

Fitzsimmons also shared with 7NEWS a photo of the tree in front of the restaurant before it was taken, and the mess of ornaments and boxes left behind after the theft.

The other owner of the restaurant, Tiffany Helton , told 7NEWS she decorated the tree on Friday with her staff. It was not secured outside the restaurant, but she didn't think it was necessary.

"I guess the thought crossed my mind but I never thought that somebody would actually do it," explained Helton.

She put up a new tree in the same location at the restaurant on Wednesday.

"I am not gonna secure the new tree because I just have faith in people," Helton said.

Stuft Burger Bar says it is also offering a year of free burgers to anyone who helps capture the thieves or bring the tree back.

Please call Greeley Police if you have information about this crime. 

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