A Kansas City man told police Friday that two men tried to steal the tree from his front yard, then fired a gun at a neighbor who chased them away, court records show.
Police were called around 4:30 a.m. to the 3200 block of E. 7th Street in the Lykins neighborhood of Kansas City to a report from a prowler in the area. They met 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 them.
As patrol officers scoured the area, a suspect was found less than two blocks away standing near a white sedan, which was pulled over for property damage. Under the sedan, police found a 9mm handgun that had been reported stolen, according to court records.
Police said in court documents there was obvious damage to some of the cable wires the owner had put around the tree to protect it. It was uprooted slightly but was able to be put back into the ground, a Kansas City detective noted.
Surveillance video of the event was also provided by the owner. It allegedly shows a man approaching the tree with metal shears to cut the cable wiring; if unsuccessful, another tool – suspected to be a saw – can be heard in audio.
The court records do not allow to know what could have motivated the attempted theft of the tree.
The suspect reportedly refused to be interviewed by a Kansas City detective without an attorney present. A detective filed a search warrant request to obtain the suspect’s TSTIME to match him to the gun-toting police officers found, according to court records.