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AN ECONOMIC THEORY

Best-known as the economist who inspired Reagan-era tax cuts, Arthur Laffer is also an accomplished gardener. But somehow, his garden kept running a deficit.

Palm trees that he lovingly raised from seedlings kept disappearing. Over about four years, dozens of trees vanished, including king palms, cycads and rare jubea chilensis in 15-gallon pots.

He reported the thefts to the sheriff's department, and Tuesday morning, the case of the pilfered palms may have been cracked.

Detectives found 33 palm trees that they suspect were stolen from Laffer, based on a comparison of soil samples by a university expert. The property owner, Larry Robertson, 40, of Bonsall, was freed on bail after being jailed on a charge of possessing stolen property.

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