Stolen historic log has Skagit County police stumped

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by ERIC WILKINSON / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on April 10, 2013 at 6:58 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 10 at 7:52 PM

It’s about 3 feet tall, 400 pounds with a ruddy complexion and it’s gone missing in Skagit County. A reward is now being offered to solve a heist of historic significance.

Mike Janicki and his son Patrick are two of the family’s four generations to log the forests of Skagit County. Their old mill property in outside Sedro-Woolley is a testament to the countless hours logged working the land.

“It’s a part of us,” said Mike. “We’ve lived from the forest for 100 years.”

That’s why what happened here has them so heartbroken.

“It’s kind of like someone taking a medal from somebody,” said Janicki, president of Janicki Logging. “It just means so much.”

A 400-pound crosscut of ancient fir tree that hung in homage to the loggers and lumberjacks of this community was smashed from its display shelter and stolen sometime over the past two weeks.

“I was just kinda sick because there’s no reason to take it,” said Mike, looking over the broken property.

The slab is actually small compared to ancient trees we’ve grown accustomed to in the Northwest. It was only about 3 feet across and 2 feet deep. But Mike says that’s what makes it so rare. It’s proof that trees don’t have to be huge to house hundreds of years of history.

Years ago a tree expert examined the rings and determined the tree was at least 400 years old—older than the declaration of independence, older than the state of Washington. It even predates the Pilgrims before being cut down in 1895.

I just hope nobody cut it up for firewood,” Janicki said.” That would be a tragedy.”

Janicki believes it likely took four men and some heavy equipment  to steal the slab, but he still can’t figure out why anyone would want it. For now, police say they don’t have a sliver of a clue as to a suspect.

A $500 reward is being offered. If you have information that will help recover the log, call Janicki Industries at 360.856.5143, or send an email to info@janicki.com.
 

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