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True Crime Lite: The Christmas Tree Bandits

One of the first things we think of when we think of Christmas is the richly decorated, beautifully lit fur perfectly situated with stacks of presents underneath. It hardly feels like the season has arrived until the tree goes up and the lights are brightly glowing. While many of us have opted for the easy-to-set-up artificial tree, there are many still that prefer the real thing. Though they are a pain to clean up after and keep watered, there's nothing quite like the smell of a real pine in your home. There's much to be said for those that choose to grow these magnificent trees for us to enjoy every year. A lot of love, care, and money goes into growing the perfect tree to accent your house for the holidays. This Christmas edition of True Crime Lite tells the story of a humble, hard-working man that made his business that of holiday cheer. Then along came three greedy grinches to ruin his holiday in the midst of the Covid pandemic.

Josh Lyle had already been facing hardships during the pandemic, like many of us during that trying time. According to, when he was finally given the green light to open up shop and sell his trees, he chose to do so in Wimbledon Park, Southfields in South London. He cleverly named his pop-up shop Pines and Needles and looked forward to an eventful holiday season selling trees to residents all over London.

It looked as though 2020 might actually end on a high note for the shop owner until the night of November 27. That night, three thieves pulled a black panel van up to the gate of the shop and began loading trees inside. Little did they know at the time their entire yuletide robbery was caught on camera. The bright Christmas lights glowing on the premises illuminated the robbers well enough that Lyle was confident in the authorities ability to catch them. Unfortunately it would appear that the assholes that stole Christmas were never caught.

Working together as quickly as they could, the thieves loaded 300 trees into the van before leaving Lyle in the hole and feeling 'sickened' by the event as reported by itv News. The astonishing amount of merchandise they were able to make off with would amount to more than 3000 British pounds. Converted to American dollars that would be $3,646.90. Stating that they typically send their trees 'far and wide' during the holiday season, the loss of 300 trees was a punch in the gut that he just couldn't take during the pandemic.

Though it would appear that these Christmas-time bandits didn't face the justice of the law, it's fair to say that they only received coal in their stockings that year. It goes without saying that you just shouldn't rob a Christmas tree lot. I wonder why in this day and age they didn't just assume that their crime would end up on the internet for all to see. In a world where we pretty much live on one camera or another you would think that people such as these would catch the hint.

Some takeaways from this holiday post: Even the Grinch gave Christmas back. The amount of sap and needles that 300 trees would've produced certainly ruined that van. And lastly, committing robbery underneath a brightly lit Christmas display says a lot, and none of it is good.

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