MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Police who were stumped by the theft of a rare pine tree in November from the University of Wisconsin Arboretum say they have cracked the case.
UW-Madison police said Friday that three 19-year-old university students stole the tree as a “pledge” activity for the Chi Phi fraternity, which hasn't been recognized as an official student organization since 2015.
Police say they acted on a tip. The three admitted to purchasing a chainsaw, renting a U-Haul and stealing the 25-foot Algonquin Pillar Swiss Mountain pine.
Each of them was cited for removing the tree, which is punishable by a $200 fine.