VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- Police in Virginia Beach are looking for a real-life Grinch who stole Christmas trees.
Officals say someone snuck onto a Christmas tree lot on Shore Drive, owned by a small business called Tin Soldiers, and stole 19 trees in the middle of the night.
"It's pretty sad, it’s like being punched in the gut. It’s disheartening to think someone would do that to anybody let alone a small business,” said owner Maggie Schratwieser. "I would say shame on you."
She estimates about $1,200 worth of trees were stolen.
“We do a lot of work to put this lot together and then for someone to take advantage of us not being here is very disappointing,” said husband Bill Schratwieser.
Police believe the suspects are reselling the trees, but they have no leads. The community is left to only imagine what the culprit looks like. He’s described as a mean one, a foul one and someone that the Christmas spirit won’t touch with a 39 and a half foot pole.
“He’s the Grinch who stole Christmas,” said Virginia Beach resident Denise Whitelaw.
Whitelaw was one of many who wanted to help Tin Soldiers. The community coming together just like they did in Whoville.
“It really is such a shame Christmas is a time of giving and joy,” said Whitelaw. “I just wanted to show my support and come out and buy a tree.”
Fellow resident Justin James already has a tree, but when he heard about the crime he decided to buy a second one anyway. He said it could become a new tradition.
"My wife has got a lot of decorations and she likes different colored lights than I do so it’s no big deal," said James.
If you have any information on these stolen trees you are being urged to call Virginia Beach Police.