PLACERVILLE (KPIX 5) – Like the Grinch who stole Christmas, someone has stolen the town of Placerville’s traditional Christmas tree.

Every year since 1998, the Placerville News Company has placed a big Christmas tree out front.

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The whole community joins in to spruce it up with ornaments and lights.

That is, until someone snatched the whole tree.

Now angry folks in the historic Gold Rush town want answers.

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“Dare I say it on camera how I felt? Well I was really pissed off,” said resident Coralie Persse. “I thought if I could get my hands on those little rascals,”

Jeff Maeder of Placerville News Company says the whole thing is just sad.

There is hope, though.

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An anonymous donor has stepped up and donated a new tree, so the town could keep it’s holiday spirit.