11/03/2011 07:44 pm ET | Updated Jan 03, 2012

Humboldt County Redwood Tree Theft Plagues Local Couple

This article comes to us courtesy of SF Weekly's The Snitch.

It's no secret that a lot of strange things go on in the far reaches of the Northern California coast. Like what, you ask? Well, like a lawsuit involving allegations that a man stole a massive tree from his neighbor's land.

The suit, filed in Humboldt County Superior Court, asserts that that Willis Otis Skaggs and his Skaggs Tree Farm somehow managed to infiltrate a nearby cattle ranch and make off with a "landmark redwood tree" measuring 12 feet thick.

That's a big tree. According to the complaint by plaintiffs James and Bonita Walker, here's what happened:

Defendants cut and removed a landmark redwood tree that was 12 feet DBH (diameter at breast height). In order to conceal this theft, the tree's stump was then dug up and removed and the void left thereby was filled with brush in what appeared to be an effort to camouflage the area where the tree had been located. Further, these events occurred at a time when Defendants' [sic] knew that Plaintiff JAMES WALKER was hospitalized for a long term with a severe injury and would be unable to access this location on his property for a significant period of time.

The lawsuit states that the tree's timber had a value of $26,198. Under state law, the plaintiffs are seeking triple damages, or $78,894.

The Walkers, who raise cattle on their property, are also seeking damages for what they say was the destruction of a border fence and the resulting loss of and injury to livestock.

At least this particular lawsuit from California's Wild North involves a more majestic object than, say, an unsatisfying dildo.

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