Surveillance video captures bucket truck same night trees were vandalized
BATON ROUGE - Last month, 2 On Your Side reported that three Live Oak trees were vandalized along Airline Highway just south of Prescott Road. The mature oak trees were cut down in the middle of the night by a mystery crew.
Tree experts have described the job as "rushed."
While little has changed over the last month, a business near the scene released some surveillance video that shows an unidentified white bucket truck driving in front of a camera lens the night the trees were cut down.
George Bofinger, owner of Bofinger's Tree Service says the mystery remains.
"It's a very sad deal," said Bofinger. "Very sad situation for this side of town."
Bofinger's Tree Service is feet away from two of the trees that were cut down. The business says no one saw what happened because they were cut down in the middle of the night on a holiday weekend.
The trees, which stood about 60 feet tall, are located on state property. Rodney Mallett with the Department of Transportation and Development says the trees were meant to be there for the long haul.
"Wasn't us, we didn't do it I have no idea what compelled somebody to go to on state property and damage state property," said Mallett.
The surveillance video is from April 19, Good Friday, just before midnight. Bofinger says the truck is too small to see if it's anyone he knows. Since the Easter holiday weekend, the trees large canopy branches have remained in the same spot they were left. The leaves have turned a rich brown color and are now blocking drainage.
While there are plans to clear the branches, DOTD says it's waiting with hope that the person responsible for cutting down the property will come forward or be identified. The cost to clear that debris is in the thousands. Bofinger says he's working with the state to help save what's left of the trees and hopes to plant more trees in the near future.