Two UMass students arrested and charged with stealing Christmas tree from Boy Scouts

In true ZooMass Fashion

Umass Amherst has been represented in true ZooMass fashion by Lindsay Zappolo and Miranda Murphy, both 21, who have been charged with larceny and a $250 fine for stealing a Christmas tree from a group of Boy Scouts.

The two were arrested and suspected of trying to make off with a tree from the annual Boy Scout sale at Kendrik Park in downtown Amherst.

A third woman was said to be involved in the alleged theft, but escaped.

Beautiful tree by the talented @farahmerhi_

A photo posted by Interior Design | Home Decor (@the_real_houses_of_ig) on Dec 7, 2016 at 9:26am PST

Artist’s impression.

The Boy Scout troop has been selling Christmas trees in the park for the past 65 years, the proceeds of which go to three local troops, 500, 504, and 550.

Many of the proceeds go back into helping cover the membership fees so that all children are able to join the troop, regardless of any economic hardships they might be facing.

Scoutmaster Michelle Chandler told 22News: “My first reaction was: ‘Seriously?’ And my second was: ‘I’m so disappointed.’ This is something that has been going on in Amherst my entire life, as far as I know.”

During their arraignment at Eastern Hampshire District Court, both Zappolo and Murphy pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The two were arrested at 1 a.m. on Friday morning, having been spotted walking around town, carrying the tree.

They are due to return to court on January 5th, 2017 for their pre-trial conference.

Murphy told Amherst Bulletin: “We got thrown in on a dare to snag a Christmas tree. Being silly, we tried to grab one.”

The two were supposedly dared to steal the tree by a third woman, but she has yet to be identified.

UMass Amherst