A Douglas County man has filed a lawsuit accusing an Overbrook man of removing 62 trees, valued at more than $50,000, from his property and selling them as firewood.
Mike Capra alleges on Dec. 10 Kevin G. Reece asked him if he could cut enough wood from trees for “a few hedge posts” — used for rural fences — on Capra’s undeveloped property southwestern Douglas County that abuts the Franklin County line.
But Capra claims when he visited the property Jan. 15 he discovered 62 trees had been cut down and brush piles were left scattered on the property.
“I gave him a few hedge posts, and he takes the whole forest,” Capra said.
The suit claims Reece’s son had participated in removing the trees and had been selling it as firewood.
Capra’s attorney Brad Finkeldei said it was Capra’s belief Reece would cut only a few limbs from trees for the hedge posts. Capra also claims in the suit the total value of the trees was in excess of $50,000, and he accuses Reece of wrongfully converting the trees into firewood for his own benefit, falsely representing reasons for entering the land, and trespassing.
“The unique part about this is it’s a natural resource that’s been destroyed, and it can never be replaced,” Finkeldei said.
Capra filed a theft report with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office. Douglas County prosecutors declined to file criminal charges.
Attempts to reach Reece were not successful Tuesday. Finkeldei said he had not been notified that authorities had been successful in serving Reece notice of the suit at his Overbrook address.
District Judge Paula Martin has not scheduled a hearing in the case.