ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — An employee of a local landscaping company is in custody after allegedly ripping trees straight out of a state park in Sodus, only to plant them on a private property, park representatives confirmed.
Salvatore Vittozzi is the caretaker of Sodus’ Beechwood State Park in Wayne County, and lives inside the park.
When he went to let his dogs out Tuesday morning, he told News 8 he saw an unusual sight: A Preston’s Landscaping truck full of pine trees, driving out of the park.
Vittozzi then went to check security cameras, where he said he saw that same truck, completely empty, entering the park just a few hours earlier.
Security photos sent to News 8 show the empty red Preston’s pickup entering the park at 4:13 p.m. and leaving 16 minutes later with a full truck bed.
Vittozzi immediately contacted police, and went into the parking lot to investigate further. He said that Beechwood did not get many visitors Tuesday, so he was able to follow some footprints into the woods, where he found the ground ripped up, and several trees missing.
Later that day, New York State Police came to investigate the incident, Vittozzi said. They were able to catch the perpetrator, who was caught planting the trees at a private residence not far from Beechwood.
News 8 has reached out to Preston’s Landscaping for comment, and did not immediately hear back.
Check back with News 8 WROC as we continue to update this developing story.