MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Faribault police say they now know the three men suspected of illegally cutting down trees in the city – including a tree planted in memory of student who died in 2009.

On Monday, police announced the male suspects — two 19 year olds and one 18-year-old – have been identified as responsible for cutting down seven trees at Faribault High School and Faribault Soccer Complex.

One of those trees were planted in memory of Faribault student Nicholas Paulson. The red maple was planted during a dedication shortly after his death, and a remembrance plaque was placed at the bottom.

Police worked with Faribault Public Schools and Faribault Parks and Recreation Department to positively identify the suspects. Police haven’t released their names yet.

“I’m pleased to see those responsible for this senseless act of vandalism have been identified. Any crime reported to our agency is taken seriously, and our detectives worked diligently to identify the suspects and solve this crime to help put the Paulson family’s mind at ease,” Police Chief Andy Bohlen said.

Police say they are presenting the case to the Rice County Attorney’s Office for review of criminal charges, which will likely include a felony level offense of first-degree criminal damage to property.

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