VENICE – A Christmas tree that was dedicated to honor veterans was stolen from the Bay Indies mobile home park on Sunday.

The residents had decorated the tree with dog tags to honor Veterans. The idea was the brain child of the Veterans Club of Bay Indies. Over 200 dog tags were on the tree and each carried the name of a veteran they wanted to honor.
When the Venice Police Department heard of the unspeakable act, they decided to chip in and get a new Christmas tree for the community.

“This is one of the heaviest hit communities after hurricane Ian but they’ve all come out and they’ve all come together and they cleaned up this place really, really quick so this happening on top of everything just really felt personal to me,” said Venice Police Department Officer, Brett Woodworth.

“This tree represents people that may not be able to celebrate Christmas or people that are no longer with us to be able to celebrate with their families so for people in this community this represents those family members,” said Woodworth.

President of the Veterans Club of Bay Indies, Bill Capozzi says he is grateful for the selfless act of the Venice Police Department

“It was shocking, it was upsetting, they took the tree but they didn’t take our spirit, its back up and it’ll be decorated real soon,” said President of Veterans Club of Bay Indies, Bill Capozzi.