Man chopped down trees so they’d fall on newly built homes, North Carolina cops say

A man intentionally chopped down trees with a chainsaw so they’d fall on newly built homes in a North Carolina neighborhood, a police chief said.

A builder first discovered that a home in East Spencer had been damaged by a tree on March 24, East Spencer Police Chief John H. Fewell, Jr. told McClatchy News.

At first, Fewell said, he thought the damage was caused by a weather event or an accident.

On March 27, a Realtor showing the home next door discovered that it had been hit by a tree, Fewell said.

A tree had fallen through the roof and crashed halfway through the house, he said. The damage was so severe that it would have to be rebuilt.

Also, markings on the tree stumps showed that they had been purposefully cut down, according to Queen City News.

At that point, Fewell said he knew the damage wasn’t accidental.

“Somebody’s trying to damage these houses, and we need to figure out why,” he said.

The houses are two of four new homes built on Third Street, a dead end residential street, according to Queen City News.

Later that day, Fewell said officers arrested a man who was “known throughout the community” and had been seen chopping down trees in the area. He was charged with two counts of felony property damage.

He was released on personal recognizance.

Fewell said detectives still don’t know why the man tried to damage the homes.

“I have a good feeling it was malicious because of how he tried to hide it,” he said.

East Spencer is about 45 miles northeast of Charlotte.

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