Family decorates Christmas tree in Cave Creek, grinch ruins it just days later

CAVE CREEK, AZ - A Christmas tree that was perched alongside the Carefree Highway in Cave Creek was vandalized earlier this week...and now it's missing. 

Jeremy Krause, his daughter, Aiden, and their friend, Cheryl Maros, put the tree up and decorated it Sunday, but by Tuesday, someone had snapped it in half. 

When we stopped by Wednesday, all we could see were broken ornaments, crumpled up tinsel, and a single needle lodged inside a wooden post.

"Somebody is just being a jerk, I think," Krause explained. 

Krause isn't sure exactly who the Christmas tree thief could be or what their motivation is. The same questions have also puzzled his daughter, Aiden. 

"Who would just break a Christmas tree that was just standing out there?" Aiden said. 

And this wasn't just any tree — It had something special on top. 

"we didn't have a topper for the tree so I just thought, you know what? We're going to put an American flag on top," Maros said. 

But after the tree was vandalized Tuesday the flag went missing too. Krause and his daughter tried to put it back up. 

"If they needed the tree, you guys can have it," Aiden said. "But if not, then I don't know what the point of taking it down. It's just up there to make people happy." 

The Krause Family plans to go back to the site on Sunday to help put up not just one tree, but multiple trees. 

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