Concerned citizens pledged a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those involved in vandalizing trees at the Montage resort, Mayor Toni Iseman confirmed.
Detectives are seeking information from passerby who may have observed vandals at work cutting deep gouges into the trunks of five mature eucalyptus trees that border the resort either late Sunday, Nov. 20, or early on Monday, Nov. 21.
Security guards discovered deep cuts near the base of the tree trunks, which appeared to have been intentionally inflicted, Sgt. Tim Kleiser said in a statement Wednesday, Dec. 14.
It will take up to two months to determine if the 40- to 45-year-old trees will survive, an arborist who examined the damage told police. The arborist valued each tree at up to $100,000.
The damaged trees are part of a towering row of eucalyptus that once provided a bordering screen to the former mobile home park that previously occupied the property. They were preserved in place during construction of the resort and provided an immediate sense of permanence when it opened in February 2003.
Citizens with information are urged to contact Detective Abe Ocampo at 949 497-0370.
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