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Man arrested in tree heist on the East End

Some people will just help themselves to anything that isn't nailed down. And if you consider having roots "nailed down," think again. I thought it wasy pretty bold when someone stole every last pear from my tree last summer, but today's story tops even that.

New York forest rangers working on a tip that someone was stealing trees from a state preserve near Riverhead said they caught Gilberto Arturo Bonilla-Sorta red-handed with six evergreens, according to The Associated Press. The rangers later found 86 other holes where trees had been, and said they believed Bonilla-Sorta might have swiped them, as well. Although it's not clear what the thief was planning to do with the trees, authorities said a juniper sold by a local landscaper could fetch as much as $160.

Bonilla-Sorta, who said he lives in Burtonsville, Md., was handed over to federal immigration authorities, who had an arrest warrant for him; officials said he is from El Salvador. He pleaded guilty to nine violations of state environmental laws.


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