Local children planted flowers, shrubs, and a Japanese maple outside a senior center in Smithfield in the spring.
However, before anyone could see the tree grown, a thief ripped it from its roots.
"We were so proud of that one tree," said Sandra McCain.
McCain was thrilled when the kids spruced up the grounds at the Smithfield Senior Center. They also planted pansies, azaleas, and crape myrtles.
They thought a fence at the senior center was protection enough for the tree but they were wrong.
"We think it happened on a Sunday afternoon in the daylight," said McCain.
McCain could not believe what she saw.
"There's a hole in the ground and there's dirt all the way through the parking lot," she said. "Actually, I guess it was dragged."
Now all they have is an empty spot where the tree was.
"A tree, who wants to take a tree," asked McCain.
Something will be planted again in the tree's place, this time, if a thief comes, they're ready.
"We've gone around and talked to the residents behind our building so look out, Said McCain."We are watching."