EL RENO, Okla. (KFOR) – It may sound odd, but surveillance video shows someone ripping two trees out of the First Christian Church of El Reno’s garden and driving off with them.
Robin Glenn is a member of the church as well a volunteer landscaper for First Christian.
Glenn said when she first looked at surveillance footage, she was in disbelief.
“Just shock. Really shocked that someone would do that. This was all done by volunteers and very lovingly after that deep freeze in 2021 killed most of it. We were pretty shocked,” stated Glenn.
Surveillance video shows what appears to be a man run up to one of the trees and yank it out of the ground.
That hooded individual then runs to a parked car off camera where headlights pop up shortly after in the video.
First Christian has experienced vandalism before, but Glenn told KFOR it was more so on a minor level.
Flowers from the garden have been stolen and they’ve had some graffiti on the church walls before, but nothing they couldn’t instantly fix, said Glenn.
The two trees allegedly stolen were planted to resemble angel wings on either side of the church’s entrance.
Originally, Glenn said the trees would cost about $600 altogether.
Since News 4’s interview with Glenn, she said she spoke with someone at Precure Nursery and Garden Center who told her each tree would cost $375.
With tax, that’s almost $800.
That’s hundreds of dollars the church considered pulling from other budgets such as outreach programs or feeding local high school students on Thursdays.
“We’re not vindictive people at all. We’re Christians, but we also don’t intend to take this lying down. We don’t accept people vandalizing this church,” said Glenn.
Glenn added with the new price they were quoted, they don’t plan to replant those specific trees for the time being.
“We won’t spend that, we’ll have to figure something else out,” she explained.
First Christian plans to file a police report with El Reno Monday where they will also turn over their video surveillance.
El Reno Police couldn’t comment on the situation as News 4 spoke with them before a police report was filed with the church.
However, El Reno Police told KFOR whoever did this, if caught, could face larceny charges.