Two UW-Madison students are paying hefty fines of about $700 apiece, for stealing a 20 foot maple tree from a downtown street. Police spokesman Joel DeSpain says it appears some late night hijinks were involved. “They were up into the wee hours of the morning on Saturday, and at some point . . . someone had a brainstorm of going out and taking this maple tree,” says DeSpain. The tree was yanked out of the ground and brought into an apartment.
It didn’t take police very long to find the thieves. “We’re used to following blood trails, but this turned out to be a dirt trail we followed right back to the apartment,” says DeSpain. Officers found the door wide open, the occupants asleep, “and what we call a clue sitting in the living room.” The two young men did try to save the tree by replanting it at its original location.