Giant Idaho Christmas star snatched from top of Boise's tree

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) Police are investigating after a giant star at the top of Boise's official Christmas tree vanished on New Year's Day.

Downtown Boise Association Executive Director Lynn Hightower said the association reported the theft to police Tuesday morning after a video surfaced. She said the star will cost $500 to replace.

"Hopefully whoever took it will find it in themselves to return it," she said in an email.

KTVB-TV reports that Darrin Walton was staying in a nearby hotel and shot video at 3 a.m. on Monday apparently capturing the crime after he noticed movement on the tree.

Lighted branches on the 30-foot (9-meter) tree are seen swaying as someone climbs to the tree's top. Then the white light of the star goes dark as the person apparently detaches it and climbs back down the tree with it.

Boise police say the star is about 3 feet (1 meter) across and that nothing else is missing from the area.

"It is definitely rare to have someone climb the tree and steal the star," said Boise Police spokeswoman Haley Williams.

Hightower said that on Nov. 24 about 5,000 people attended the lighting of the tree in a downtown pedestrian area called the Grove Plaza that's close to shops and restaurants. She said the star has been in use for about a decade.

The tree is scheduled to come down the week of Jan. 16, depending on the weather, she said.

Another big Boise Christmas tree is decked out a few blocks away in front of the Idaho Statehouse.

"Nothing has happened to our tree," said Diane Blume, spokeswoman for the Idaho Department of Administration, responsible for that tree. "In fact, we're taking it down right now."

That tree was scheduled to come down this week ahead of the Idaho Legislature that goes into session starting Monday.

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Information from: KTVB-TV, http://www.ktvb.com/

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