• Police: Woman stole Lions Club tree, tried to sell it
     | December 08,2013

    Provided Photo Bennington Police said the tree on this car was taken from the Lions Club sales lot in Bennington.

    BENNINGTON — Police said a woman stole a Christmas tree from the local Lions Club sales lot and tried to sell it for $20.

    The tree was taken from the tree lot, located at the Bennington Chamber of Commerce on Veterans Memorial Drive, at about 8:15 p.m. Friday.

    Bennington Police Cpl. Andy Hunt said a witness saw a gold-colored car with Vermont plates back up to the Christmas trees, where two people took one and put it in the trunk before driving away.

    The car was seen traveling to the nearby Kmart plaza, Hunt said, where the two people put a blanket on the roof the car and tied the tree to the roof. The car was last seen heading west on Kocher Drive.

    Hunt said the license plate, noted by the witness, was registered to Dee Morse, 35, of Bennington. A neighbor there told police that Morse was on the way home and offered to sell the tree for $20, Hunt said.

    Meanwhile, Morse was found in the Walmart parking lot with a Christmas tree on the roof of her car, Hunt said.

    Morse told police she believed the trees at the Lions Club lot were free, because there were no signs indicating prices and the trees were not tied down, Hunt said.

    Morse also denied trying to sell the tree and indicated that it was for herself, police said.

    Morse was charged with petty larceny. She is scheduled to appear Dec. 23 in Bennington criminal court, police said.

    Hunt noted in his report that the Lions Club trees cost $35. The Lions have sold trees in Bennington since the early 1980s, with proceeds going to community programs.

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