FLOSSMOOR, Ill. (CBS) — A woman in south suburban Flossmoor says she was trying to do the right thing by setting up a tree recycling program in her community.

All was going well until thieves stole 500 pounds of discarded lights Monday morning from Jennifer Molski’s driveway.

“We had them all at the bottom of the driveway,” she tells CBS 2’s Mike Parker. “They were covered up completely in a blue tarp on our property.”

Hundreds of Christmas tree light strands had been donated for recycling by the same residents who also turned in 700 used Christmas trees to be mulched for the Iron Oaks Environmental Education Center.

Molski says a neighbor told her a woman in a red pickup truck had been seen driving around the neighborhood. Her father, Roger Molski, a former mayor of Flossmoor, suspects it was someone scavenging for material that could be sold as scrap.

Organizers had hoped to use the proceeds from the recycling to help finance next year’s Christmas tree drive.

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