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LOGAN — Three Utah State University students who apparently wanted a Christmas tree in their apartment have been cited for cutting down a pine tree in the Logan Cemetery.
Two pine trees were cut down at the Logan Cemetery last week. One was cut sometime during the early hours of Dec. 7.
Tuesday night, apparently feeling guilty about what they had done, three 18-year-old girls, all USU students, called police and turned themselves in, said Logan Assistant Police Chief Jeff Curtis. When officers arrived at their apartment, they found the tree cut up and ready for disposal.
"It appears they just wanted a Christmas tree," Curtis said.
The girls' apartment is across the street from the cemetery. They were each cited with theft, a class B misdemeanor.
A second pine tree cut down about the same time has not been located. Police have also been unable to locate two directory books normally left at the cemetery entrance to help visitors find grave sites. The investigation into others possibly involved continued Wednesday.
"I'm not disappointed. I'm mad," said Logan Cemetery sexton Seth Sparks. "But other than that, we don't like this to happen."
Sparks said there are more than 850 trees in the cemetery.
"It is for people who have reverence," he said. "But if you're stealing Christmas trees, you don't care about that type of thing."
Cemetery officials said the trees would be replaced.