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Photos show 2 people wanted for allegedly vandalizing at least 62 trees in King of Prussia

Upper Merion Township Police seek suspects after vandalism of 62 trees in King Of Prussia
Upper Merion Township Police seek suspects after vandalism of 62 trees in King Of Prussia 01:41

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. (CBS) -- Dozens of trees a local teen helped plant in King of Prussia were broken or ripped out of the ground, now he's fighting back with some help from Upper Merion Township Police.

"I just really don't understand it," said 16-year-old Sam Montich.

He said he doesn't know why someone would damage and steal 62 trees. He helped plant them to keep stormwater from flooding Crow Creek in King of Prussia's Sweet Briar Park.

"How we first found them," he said while standing over an empty green tube where a sapling once stood. "Is that they were hanging off of these white stakes here."

Upper Merion Township Police
Upper Merion Township Police
Upper Merion Township Police

Montich said some of the trees were found damaged Sunday while others were missing.

"But, it's just not there anymore because kids ripped it out," Montich said.

He said it all started when a board member with the township's Shade Tree Commission found 15 trees damaged last Thursday.

"That was after the first time, one of the members on the board with us said that they put up a trail camera to catch the people who would do it if they did it again."

Upper Merion Township Police now have pictures and are asking for the public's help. Detective Andrew Rathfon said two people, in their teens or early 20s, ripped out the trees both times.

"It's disappointing. Obviously, that's why we're taking the steps that we are to try and identify these individuals," Rathfon said. "But yes, this was a project that was done to beautify the community."

Montich may have been disappointed but said he remained determined.

"My plan now is to hopefully trust my community members and hope that these people will be identified," he said. "Me and the Shade Tree Commission will go back and we will replant these trees."

Rathfon also said once these suspects are caught they could face charges.

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