Grinch-Like Thieves Thwarted By Smelly Trees In South Jersey - Philadelphia News, Weather and Sports from WTXF FOX 29

Grinch-Like Thieves Thwarted By Smelly Trees In South Jersey

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A sign warns would-be thieves of trees that have been sprayed with a chemical that will emit an "obnoxious smell" in Port Republic, N.J. A sign warns would-be thieves of trees that have been sprayed with a chemical that will emit an "obnoxious smell" in Port Republic, N.J.
PORT REPUBLIC, N.J. -

O'smelly tree, o'smelly tree...

That's what tree thieves in South Jersey will be singing around their Christmas tree if they cut it down in the town of Port Republic.

In past years, Pine trees, put up as a wind barrier around tennis courts and a skating pond had been a target of thieves around the holidays. That's until one town official decided to make them smell.

FOX 29's Meg Baker took a walk with Mayor Gary Giberson to sniff out his strategy against the tree cutters. He says he won't let anyone steal his town's Christmas...trees, that is.

"One year I came around and two trees were missing, all I saw were stumps. And I said this can't be we'll have to do something about this," Mayor Gary told FOX 29.

So to stop any more Grinch-like thieves, the mayor came up with a unique smelly strategy with the help of a few contacts in the forestry industry.

The secret mix was two coats of a deer repellent spray and "moss bunker juice, that they actually use in fertilizer," the mayor explained. "When you get within five feet of that tree, you're not going to want that in your living room."

He also had a very clear sign made that reads:

"THESE TREES HAVE BEEN SPRAYED WITH A CHEMICAL THAT WHEN INTRODUCED TO HEAT OF A HOME EMITS AN OBNOXIOUS SMELL."

What do the trees smell like?

"It's obnoxious, it's a sulfur smell, it smells like rotten eggs and rotten fish," Mayor Giberson described.

Since introducing the smell factor and the sign, the mayor says he has not lost a tree since.

"I wanted to ride around and see the tree outside their house after it stunk their living room up but never found one," the mayor said.

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