NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Offbeat

August 14, 2009

Man charged with stealing park tree

KILLINGLY, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut police say they've caught the thief who stole a Japanese maple tree worth $1,000 from a Killingly park, and the evidence was extremely strong.

State troopers say they found the mature tree replanted in Kenneth Blanchette's front yard in Plainfield.

The 45-year-old Blanchette turned himself in at the state police barracks in Danielson Thursday afternoon. He was charged with third-degree larceny and posted $1,000 bail.

Troopers say the tree was dug up and hauled away on May 7. They say witnesses got the license plate number of Blanchette's truck, and troopers traced it to him.

The tree has been replanted at the park.

Blanchette could not be reached Friday. A phone listing in his name was not in service.

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