ELK GROVE — It’s exhausting work running a Christmas tree lot.
“There’s many jobs to do,” said Life Scout David Lilley with Troop 59.
“We’re not just messing around,” he added.
One lot in Elk Grove is kept up by kids who came there after school to raise money for their Boy Scout Troop.
“Even before I joined the troop, I saw it around here,” Lilley said.
The lot has been in the same parking lot for over 30 years, which is why they think whoever stole their tip jar on Sunday night knew exactly who they were stealing it from.
“Turned around and the jar, the entire jar, was gone,” said Committee Chair for Troop 59 Chris Joyce.
Joyce says the $150 or so in that jar would have been hard for the boys to earn back.
“Money for the boys to go to summer camp,” Joyce said.
But they didn’t have to, because their neighbor Josh Hughes, who owns Emerald Tattoo and Piercing in the same parking lot, when he heard about the theft, he walked on over and handed them a check for $200.
“You know too personal, too close,” Hughes said.
He has kids too. And for the record, he used to be a boy scout.
“I was not a good Boy Scout. I didn’t last very long,” Hughes said.
Lilley wouldn’t necessarily have expected this gesture from a guy with a giant beard and face tattoos.
But then again…
“But then again, I wouldn’t expect someone to steal a tip jar,” he said.
From kids who operate by a code of honor.
“My family, we have tattoos, so it’s not surprising,” Joyce said.
It was, however, a surprise to Hughes’ kids when the Scouts told them to pick out their favorite tree to take back to their tattoo shop.