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Police: Tinsel trail led to tree thief

Dec. 8, 2009 at 4:31 PM

DENBIGH, Wales, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Welsh police said they followed a trail of tinsel to a thief who took a Christmas tree and numerous decorations from a garden center's children's grotto.

Police in Denbigh, Wales, said security cameras recorded Michael Brown, 31, taking the fully decorated tree, a toy helicopter and model Santas from the Secret Garden grotto. Investigators arrested Brown after the crime by following the trail of tinsel falling from the tree, The Daily Mail reported Tuesday.

Investigators said Brown, who admitted to the theft, had already sold the tree to a stranger by the time of his arrest but the other items, which he said he planned to give as Christmas presents, were recovered.

Prestatyn Magistrates' Court ordered Brown to pay a $105 fine, $148 compensation to Secret Garden and $162 in costs.

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