It was a "Grinch" of an idea that led to a 19-year-old Readstown man being arrested for stealing the village of Readstown's Christmas tree.

According to the Vernon County Sheriff's Department, Jerry Wilder Jr. left behind a note saying, "The Grinch was here," after he removed the decorated tree from the village's Memorial Park during the early morning hours of Wednesday, Nov. 26.

A stand the tree was in, which was located inside a gazebo, was damaged.

Authorities interviewed Wilder on Friday, and he confessed to stealing the tree.

Wilder has been referred to the district attorney's office for charges.

Wilder Jr. was previously convicted of disorderly conduct in Iowa County and has had nine traffic or criminal misdemeanor citations brought against him since September 2012, according to the Wisconsin Circuit Court database. He has had previous residences in Viola and Avoca.

The case is under investigation by the Sheriff Office and the Readstown Police Department.

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