Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Cloudy 36° Cloudy
News >  Crime/Public Safety

‘Grinch’ arrested for stealing Christmas trees from local hardware store

UPDATED: Tue., Dec. 1, 2020

Eli P. Vansickle, 49, was arrested and charged with burglary and theft related to the theft of approximately 50 trees from River Ridge Hardware. The trees were later recovered by Spokane Police Department Officers.  (Courtesy of the Spokane Police Department)
Eli P. Vansickle, 49, was arrested and charged with burglary and theft related to the theft of approximately 50 trees from River Ridge Hardware. The trees were later recovered by Spokane Police Department Officers. (Courtesy of the Spokane Police Department)

Just days after some 50 Christmas trees were stolen from a local hardware store, the Spokane Police Department said it has arrested the real life “Grinch” who stole them.

Upon reviewing store security video at River Ridge Hardware, 2803 W. Garland, Ave., it was clear the incident happened at 3:30 a.m. when someone packed the trees into a trailer.

A post on the store’s facebook page asked the public to share any information they might have with the Spokane Police Department, according to a department news release.

On Monday, officers with the Patrol Anti-Crime Team and Downtown Neighborhood Resource Officers began investigating the incident. The investigation led to the arrest of Eli P. Vansickle, 49, in Deer Park.

After his arrest, Vansickle told police where the trailer used in the burglary was stashed in Spokane, leading to the recovery of the stolen trees, police said.

Vansickle has a felony record and was jailed on suspicion of burglary and theft.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.