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Authorities looking for the 'Grinch' who stole large sign from South Tampa Christmas tree farm

Posted at 11:48 PM, Apr 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-26 23:57:34-04

TAMPA, Fla. -- It's a South Tampa staple.

"It's more than just a business," said Melodie Gallio of Gallio Family Christmas Trees on South Manhattan Avenue. "We get to spend time with family."

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Loyal customers, including a few famous faces, across the Tampa Bay visit Gallio Christmas Trees. Their sign is well known and eye catching for drivers in South Tampa.

But on Friday, investigators say someone stole the welcome sign behind a locked fence.

"It's pathetic," Melodie Gallio said. "We work so hard to build this and to provide to the community. Someone, who in my eyes, is just lazy. They don't want to work for their own stuff."

The family-owned tree farm has been in business for 25 years.

"We've all put a lot of time in here to make this place look good and they just come and take it from us," Melodie Gallio. "We've pretty much built it from the ground up ourselves."

Investigators are asking anyone with information about the theft to call crime stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS.