updated 11/30/2007 8:40:47 AM ET 2007-11-30T13:40:47

Taking holiday decorations from a man named Clouse this time of year might land you on the "naughty" list. Putting them up in your yard with the tags still on might land you in jail.

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Michael Allard, 39, is accused of stealing Christmas trees and wreaths from the Montana Wreaths & Pink Grizzly Christmas Store several blocks from his home. He was arrested Monday and charged with felony burglary and misdemeanor theft.

Shane Clouse, the shop's owner, reported a burglary after he spotted Allard walking with a shopping cart full of items Clouse recognized as his own, the Missoulian newspaper reported. Clouse later saw two of his Christmas trees in Allard's yard and stacks of wreaths in the entryway of his trailer.

Clouse said the trees were identical to those he sells and pointed out that the red and yellow sales tags were still attached.

A sheriff's deputy who responded noticed trees and wreaths at Allard's house, then saw him inside making additional wreaths, according to the newspaper.

Investigators said that Allard acknowledged taking the wreath-making supplies but said that the items had been abandoned near the business and that he didn't break in. He said a friend had given him the trees.

Allard was being held Thursday in the Missoula County Detention Facility. A phone message left Thursday by The Associated Press with the regional public defender's office seeking the name of Allard's attorney was not immediately returned.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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