EL DORADO (KPIX) — The search is on for a gang of grinches who robbed and ransacked a family-run Christmas tree farm in El Dorado County.
The heartless holiday crime will end a 40-year tradition.
“They clearly busted in the door, they broke off the steal bar, and huge padlock that was on here,” says Gary Schoennauer.
“They’re monsters, they truly are,” adds his dad, Erik.
Gary and Erik Schoennauer are father and son, stunned crooks would target their family’s fourth generation Christmas tree farm. This would have been a milestone a 40th year in business.
“The house was completely ransacked, everything torn apart thrown apart,” says Gary. “In some ways it was also like the Scrooge who stole Christmas, because they literally rolled the carpets off the floor and took them.”
Pictures show the damage done by thieves who broke in to the family cabin and shed, stole everything from televisions to chain-saws, to their truck.
“We are family-run, so we have to have all our family, extended family come up and stay here to work the farm and if we cant cook and have heat it just doesn’t work,” says Gary.
A jolt to what has been a joyful tradition beginning the holiday season.
“We hope that the Christmas that was ruined for so many of our long time customers, will be okay.”
Investigators told the Schoennauers the thieves were likely looking for items they could sell to buy drugs.
“We just hope that we catch them.” says Erik.
As for a message from this family to the thieves this is the season of giving? Not forgiveness.
“I cant repeat it on the air,” he says. “Because we’ll have to bleep me out.”