The day after they opened for business, someone robbed Giesbrecht’s Tree Farm in Langley.
Owner Ken Giesbrecht said they set up the tree lot Friday afternoon, and when they came back Saturday morning, they discovered that a row of eight-year-old Noble firs was gone and so were some of the bigger Douglas firs in the front yard of the farm.
In all, 15 trees priced between $80 and $100 were taken for a total loss of about $1,000.
“They knew what they were doing,” Giesbrecht said.
“They took the high-dollar trees.”
Whoever did it managed to avoid getting spotted by the farm surveillance cameras.
“Our farm is so big, it’s hard to make a fortress of it,” Giesbrecht said.
It isn’t the first theft from the farm, but it is the biggest they’ve suffered in a while, said Giesbrecht , who described it as an annual, but usually minor problem at the farm.
“It might be a tree or two [a year that gets stolen],” he said.
“We’ve had people cut through fences to cut down trees,” he said.
About 15 years ago, one of the biggest thefts Giesbrecht can recall took place when some people stole 35 trees.
Thanks to a tip, he was able to locate the thieves trying to sell them and match the cutting marks on the trees to the stumps that had been left behind.
No one was charged, Giesbrecht said.
“[But] I got about 24 trees back.”
This year happens to be the 50th anniversary of the tree farm.
The 60-acre farm at 5871 248th St. was established in 1968 by Jake and Helen Giesbrecht when Ken was 10.
In 1995 the farm was passed down to him and his wife Cindy.
Giesbrecht’s Tree Farm has grown into one of the largest Christmas tree producers in the Fraser Valley, one that employs over 20 people on a seasonal basis.
It sells 9,500 tree a year, and about 1,000 of them are sold direct to customers at the farm.
When the farm is selling trees, it also raises funds for the Critter Care animal rehab facility in Langley and the BC SPCA by providing netting to wrap the trees for transport in return for donations.
Last year, that amounted to donations of $1,400 each for both agencies.
Anyone who might know what happened to the trees is asked to call the Langley RCMP at 604-532-3200 and quote case file number 18 – 43611.
To make an anonymous, tip, call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or go online at www.solvecrime.ca.