RICHFIELD, OH (WOIO) - Richfield Police are looking for the Grinch who killed the village's Christmas tree on display in the town square. A reward is now being offered to catch the culprit.
The holiday joy was tarnished after someone decided to cut through the tree's trunk some time last week. The tree is still standing for now, but the village arborist says it's severely damaged and could topple over if bad weather moves through.
The estimated cost of the damaged tree is $10,000. Police are working to find who's behind the pricey prank.
Resident Joanna Brown is disgusted by the vandalism.
"It's disrespectful to the town. It's disrespectful to the people here and it's wrong. It's hurtful because it's personal," Brown said.
Prakash Panchal owns a convenience store across the street from the display. He says he found out about the vandalism from one of his customers.
"This is really unbelievable. Why somebody would do something like this to the tree?" said Panchal.
"They think it's fun and they don't know who they're hurting," said another Richfield resident.
Brown says someone may have destroyed the tree, but they won't destroy the Christmas spirit in this tight knit community.
Richfield officials are hoping the tree will last through the holiday season. They will have to cut it down in a few months and decide how they'll plan for next year's tree.
Officials are offering a $500 reward for information that would lead to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.