Christmas tree vandalized: business owner offers free food for info – CBS Philly

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A local business owner is offering a reward to whoever can identify a group of vandals who damaged a Northeast Philadelphia community’s Christmas tree over the weekend.

The tree outside Bridesburg Recreation Center was just lit for the season Saturday night. The next night, the lights were no longer shining bright.

In a Facebook post, the Bridesburg Civic Association says teenage vandals cut the lights and destroyed the wiring. Authorities are working to find out who is responsible and for anyone who has information on them. 

Business owner Cailey Plath is hoping she can sweeten the deal for whoever identifies the vandals now or later.

“I’ll cater their Christmas,” Plath said. “We’ll cheer up Bridesburg by doing that.”

Plath is the owner of Cailey’s Kitchen on Richmond Street.

“We’re a family,” she added. “Knowing the neighborhood, we’ll find out who did it.”

The Bridesburg tree lighting has been a tradition for years, something that neighbors await annually with excitement.

“It’s beautiful,” said resident Samantha Matriciardi. “It really brings the community together. There was a huge turnout for the tree lighting. 

Neighbors were stunned to see the tree vandalized. “I would’ve never ever thought that would happen in this neighborhood,” said resident Charlie Haigh.

“They go out of their way to offer something good to the kids and everything like that and it gets destroyed,” said Shawn Hawthorne of Bridesburg. “It’s just no respect anymore. “

But a longtime volunteer at the recreation center says the vandalism won’t stop Bridesburg from spreading its annual holiday cheer.

“Christmas will go on,” the volunteer, Jacqueline Desanctis, said.

She also says a neighbor is stepping up and offering to donate new lights. But for now, this Christmas tree will remain dark at night.