With Christmas only days away, authorities in southeast Nebraska say thieves have been targeting rural properties' fir trees.
Every year, the Lancaster County Sheriff's Department fields a handful of reports of evergreens taken from acreages, presumably destined to serve as Christmas trees. Judy Leif recently noticed a seven-foot spruce on her property near Raymond had been cut down.
Authorities say homeowners' best defense is to spray fox urine on the trees they want to keep. The urine emits a small smell when the temperature is below 50 degrees. But if a sprayed tree is brought inside, the smell is overwhelming.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the city of Lincoln both utilize a fox urine mixture to protect their trees from thieves.