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Who Stole Galen’s Christmas Tree?

POTTSVILLE — A family in Pottsville cannot understand how somebody could stoop so low as to steal a Christmas tree from the grave of a loved one. The tree...

POTTSVILLE -- A family in Pottsville cannot understand how somebody could stoop so low as to steal a Christmas tree from the grave of a loved one.

The tree was dedicated to a son who died years ago.

The family is so distraught that they are now offering a reward to get the tree back.

The Barnes family has no idea who would want to steal a Christmas tree from a cemetery, but whoever the crook is didn't just take a tree, they took memories and mementos from a family.

Galen Barnes loved decorating for Christmas. His family describes the teen as a happy guy who would always help you out.

Galen was 15 when he died in a target shooting accident in Schuylkill County in 1980. He's now buried at the Queen of the Universe Cemetery near Pottsville.

The Barnes family has put a Christmas tree near Galen's grave for the past five years, but this year someone came to the cemetery and swiped the tree.

"That was our Christmas present."

The family doesn't know who would want the tree along with all their family ornaments they decorated it with.

"A lot of things on it are mementos. There's a little ceramic angel at the top. She's only like an inch big, but it all meant something," said Galen's mom Patricia Barnes.

For the past few years, the family has kept the Christmas tree and replanted it.

"We planted it up at our cabin along the creek. We have five of them planted now," said Galen's dad Earl Barnes.

The family doesn't want a new tree; they want whoever took the tree to bring it back with the ornaments.

"If whoever took it hears this and sees this, I'd appreciate it if they'd bring it back," Patricia added.

The Barnes family says they are offering a $100 reward for anyone who returns the tree and ornaments.

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