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Teenagers Accused Of Damaging Christmas Trees

Tom Simpson /

Five teenagers are accused of damaging over 50 Christmas trees at the Shady Pond Farm in St. Tammany Parish. Owner Clarke Gernon says 10 trees were destroyed during Labor Day weekend and the perpetrators came back last weekend, but this time the state forestry department set up motion-detection cameras and the vandalism was caught on video

Gernon says three of the suspects are from Pearl River, one from Lacombe and another from Mississippi. Investigators say the suspects said they were bored and smoking marijuana when they decided to wrestle the trees. Gernon says the teens caused six-thousand dollars worth of damage by snapping each tree’s base

Four of the teens face criminal damage to property, which is a felony. Gernon says his Shady Pond Farm has been vandalized about 20 times over the years and hopes this will put a stop to the mutilation of his trees