Pecan thefts a huge problem in Thomas County - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Pecan thefts a huge problem in Thomas County

By Christian Jennings - bio | email

THOMAS COUNTY,  GA (WALB) - Pecan thieves are here just in time for the harvest.

Thomas county law enforcers say they're getting multiple calls a day about pecan thefts ranging from small quantities stolen from people's yards to thousands of pounds of pecans.

Fall is the Turner's favorite season. It's tradition every year they harvest and sell thousands of pecans that they pick from the grove behind their house.

"It's a daily, hard job, especially for three old people," said 84-year-old Lila Turner. But last Thursday the Turners woke up to an empty barn.

"They took everything we had gathered up," she said.

Thieves broke in the night before and stole 450 pounds of harvested, ready to sell pecans.  The barn door was locked, but thieves didn't need a key. They kicked the door down, and when the Turners came outside, the footprint was still wet.

"I was very angry at what had happened," said Lila Turner.

Rightfully so. The heavy bags were worth about 400 bucks.

"That was christmas money for the children and grandchildren," she said.

The Turners aren't the only victims. Police receive daily calls in the city and county regarding pecan thefts. Two weeks ago, 3000 pounds were taken from an orchard in Barwick.

"Whenever pecans come in its an ongoing problem for about a month or so," said Pascal Autry, Investigator with the Thomas county Sheriff's office.

An annual event that's frustrating for hard working folks like the Turners.

"The economy is playing a role but people doing this are no better than me. They can work too," said Turner. The Turners say they're keeping a vigilant watch on their property. But they have to sleep sometime.

Obviously there's nothing you can do if someone takes your pecans in the middle of the night but police suggest when you do harvest the nuts, sell them as soon as possible, get them off your property.

Police say this year seems to be the worst year they can remember for pecan thefts.


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