REPORTER FILE PHOTOS
Illegally cut trees off Menhaden Lane.
Shelter Island and Suffolk County police still want to know who is responsible for cutting down an estimated acre of trees valued at $66,000 off Menhaden Lane in January 2018.
Rumors abounded about who might be responsible for the damage to acres of trees, but Town Attorney Bob DeStefano Jr. said last December that the rumors were unfounded.
Monday morning, Shelter Island Police officers were at North and South ferries handing out flyers to drivers asking anyone with information to call Suffolk County Crime Stoppers with any tips they may have.
A reward of up to $5,000 is being offered to anyone with information that leads to an arrest in the destruction that police from both departments have categorized as criminal mischief.
In January 2018, it was reported that cedar, cherry, locust and other trees had been sliced in half with wood lying on the ground. Resident Jean Lawless, who brought the matter to the Reporter and town officials, found the site while walking her dog.
“It’s criminal,” said Tim Purtell, chairman of the town’s Green Options Advisory Committee.
Mr. Purtell, a Reporter nature columnist, is an activist with environmental groups .
“Those trees belong to all of us,” he said.
The flyers indicated that the destruction occurred between January 7 and January 8 of 2018.
Because the land on which the trees were destroyed is owned by Suffolk County, local police turned the case over to a division of Suffolk County Police who handle environmental crimes.
While town officials have asked about progress in the case from time to time, there have been no breaks in the case.
Anyone with information may submit an anonymous tip by calling 1-800-220-TIPS; texting SCPD and your message to CRIMES (274637); or emailing www.tipsubmit.com. All calls, text messages and emails will be kept confidential.