CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - Christmas tree shopping is a tradition for many during the holiday season., but buyers aren’t the only want eyeing trees, so are thieves.
FOX 46 Charlotte was tipped off that the Food Lion in the Plaza-Midwood area has had 18 trees taken from its store this year.
We started reaching out to local tree lots in the area. Farmers and sellers say upping security during the Christmas season is to be expected.
Tree thefts from businesses have been reported and witnessed citywide.
Norman Simpson is one of the owners at The Darrel Simpson Family Christmas Tree company. They grow trees in North Carolina. They also sell them on South Kings Drive in Charlotte.
“After hours we have a guy who stays here all night, and he's armed. He walks the lot and keeps an eye on things,” Simpson said.
It’s important as ever for farmers to keep a close eye on their Christmas trees. This year, there’s a predicated shortage.
“There's definitely a shortage. And it's a couple reasons why. Probably the main reason is because seven to ten years ago we were in a recession. Some farmers then were uncertain about where the economy was going to go. So we had about three to four years where farmers didn't plant many trees, we held back. And it takes ten years to get a 7 to 8-foot tree, so we're seeing it now. We're seeing that recession come out now. Also, fertilizer got high. There's going to be a shortage for a few years but it will all eventually work out," Simpson said.
Simpson’s business has been around since 1941. They opened up Thanksgiving week and already have seen an influx in customers.
“People are a little anxious about maybe being a shortage and they’re coming a littler earlier, just in case,” Simpson said.