A Kansas City man told police on Friday that two men tried to steal the tree from his front yard and then fired a gun at a neighbor who chased them off, according to court records.
Police officers were called around 4:30 a.m. to the 3200 block of E. 7th Street in Kansas City’s Lykins neighborhood on a report of a prowler in the area. They met with a resident who reported the encounter and provided a description, saying he heard the sound of two gunshots near Indiana Avenue as his neighbor chased after them.
As patrol officers canvassed the area, one suspect was found less than two blocks away standing near a white sedan, who was arrested for property damage. Underneath the sedan police found a 9mm handgun that had been reported stolen, according to court records.
Police say in court documents that there was obvious damage to some of the cable wires the homeowner put around the tree to protect it. It was slightly uprooted but was able to be placed back in the ground, a Kansas City detective noted.
Surveillance video of the event was also provided by the homeowner. It allegedly shows one man approach the tree with metal shears to cut the cable wiring; when that failed, another tool — suspected to be a saw — can be heard on audio.
It was unclear from court records what possibly motivated the attempted theft of the tree.
The suspect allegedly declined to be interviewed by a Kansas City detective without a lawyer present. A detective filed a request for a search warrant to obtain the DNA of the suspect for comparison to the firearm police officers found, according to court records.