Kansas City man charged with stealing walnut trees, valued at $2 - KCTV5

Kansas City man charged with stealing walnut trees, valued at $250K in lumber

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Charging documents say the trailer belonged to David Thomas. Police say he cut down 13 walnut trees, each 50-feet long. They estimate their value as lumber at nearly $250,000. (Jackson County) Charging documents say the trailer belonged to David Thomas. Police say he cut down 13 walnut trees, each 50-feet long. They estimate their value as lumber at nearly $250,000. (Jackson County)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Jackson County is charging a man for stealing walnut trees from a park after police found his trailer stuck in the mud deep in the woods near a trail.

A parks department employee noticed several massive trees cut down near the Blue River. Police say the trailer was bogged down in the mud so deeply they had to run a cable over a bridge and pull it up onto the roadway to remove it.

Charging documents say the trailer belonged to David Thomas. Police say he cut down 13 walnut trees, each 50-feet long. They estimate their value as lumber at nearly $250,000.

Tim O'Neil runs a lumber yard that exclusively uses urban trees. He relies on donated trees that most homeowners would scrap.

"It's really fun to take something that would normally be turned into mulch and give it a second life as a piece of furniture," he said.

O'Neil says most lumber buyers shy away from urban wood.

"The fear of metal hitting metal has made loggers shy away from trees," he said.

O'Neil says a thief trying to steal lumber is barking up the wrong tree.

"We get wood for free that people are throwing away. it's unfortunate that he wasn't resourceful because he could have gotten some without having to steal it if they really wanted it,"

The county is still trying to assess the damage and calculate the cost of replanting the trees.

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