Miami-Dade police are on the lookout for two semi-truck trailers filled with Christmas trees that were stolen from a Kendall Costco on Tuesday night.
Someone made off with the two 53-foot semi-truck trailers parked outside the mega-store at 13450 SW 120th St., across the street from the Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport. Inside: $18,000 in Christmas trees.
Florida Beauty, a large refrigerated floral truck delivery service in South Florida, dropped off the two trailers, valued together at $78,000, on Tuesday afternoon. The trailers, each holding 500 trees, were stolen sometime between 8 p.m. and midnight.
“They were brand new — 2015,” said Frank Ducassi, vice president of sales for Florida Beauty.
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At the Kendall Costco, a major retailer of Christmas trees, the Fraser firs are sold right out of the trailers for $30 each. According to the general manager, this is the only time all year that non-Costco brand equipment stays on site overnight.
Normal protocol for Costco equipment — and as a general safety precaution for any trailer — is to enable a “pin lock,” which complicates semi-trucks from connecting with and hauling off a trailer.
“You could get it off the trailer, but you’d need an acetylene torch and there’d be pieces of the lock everywhere,” Ducassi said. “I’m almost sure they weren’t secured.”
Ducassi said he thinks the use of a pin lock was mandated by the contract, but the Costco general manager said he was only instructed to lock the trailer doors.
“It’s going to be a black eye for Costco if they were supposed to secure the trailers and didn’t,” Ducassi said.
The trailers were equipped with satellite tracking, which was disconnected around midnight on Tuesday in Weston, he said.
The trees, shipped from North Carolina and Virginia, are from Happy Holiday Christmas Trees, a major tree retailer based in North Carolina.
“It’s probably a 50-50 chance your Christmas tree comes from them,” Ducassi said.
But for the 60,000 members of the Kendall Costco, there’s nothing to worry about. There are more trucks on the way, carrying loads of pine-scented holiday cheer.