Camera catches thief digging up, stealing palm tree from Virginia couple’s front yard


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – A couple from Virginia is looking for answers after someone stole a tree from their front yard.

Zach and Morgan Teslovich, of Norfolk, said the theft occurred around 4:45 a.m. this past Wednesday. In less than 60 seconds, the thief took a shovel to the Teslovich’s lawn, dug up their palm tree and ran off with it.

“Every time I watch that video, it hits me in the gut again. I just can’t believe it happened,” Zach Teslovich told WFXR’s sister station, WAVY.

Zach was running late for work that morning and didn’t immediately check his phone, but what he saw on his way out the door stopped him in his tracks: a big hole in the yard and the tree nowhere to be found.

“I was just surprised. That’s the last thing that I would think someone would take. We always have that light on and we have the camera right there, so it’s not really secretive by any means. We’re trying to start a new tradition for our family and they took it away from us,” Zach explained.

The couple moved into their home only a few months ago. They also planted the tree themselves.

“My wife and I got married on Earth Day in 2019 and we wanted to start a new tradition of planting a new tree every year on our anniversary, and that’s why we planted this palm tree,” Zach stated.

(Photo courtesy: Teslovich family)

The pair shared their experience with neighbors via social media. One of the theories, they said, is that a landscaper stole the tree for profit.

No matter who took it, the Teslovich family just wants the culprit caught.

“I can’t think of anyone else who would have some kind of motivation to steal a palm tree,” Zach said.

He also shared a message for the thief.

“You took something from my family,” he said. “Something that was important to us.”

The Teslovich couple says they hope to plant another tree on their anniversary next year — this time in a less conspicuous spot.

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