FENTON (WJRT) (10/18/19) - Thousands of apples vanished from Spicer Orchard.
It's a bizarre crime that's left the owners wondering who did it.
Trees at a Fenton Township orchard should be filled with apples waiting to be harvested. Instead, they are bare.
Sometime between late Sunday night and Wednesday morning, thieves stripped hundreds of trees of their bounty, leaving only a handful of fruit high up on the branches.
"Basically, I was pretty upset about it, because it takes a whole year to grow apples," said Spicer Orchard Harvest Manager Matt Spicer. "And losing something like that, that was our up and coming varieties. Evercrisp is one of our new ones out and was kind of excited to share that with people."
The crooks not only picked ripe apples, they took ones not ready for harvest and even ones on the ground. Spicer estimates about 7,000 pounds of fruit -- about 22,000 apples -- were loaded onto trucks and carted off.
Nearby neighbors didn't hear a thing.
"I don't look out my window this way and they didn't come down the driveway, so I wouldn't have heard anything," said next door neighbor Mike Conway. "It's behind the barn. I'm sure they used the barn for cover."
While insurance can cover crop losses due to weather, it won't cover theft and the estimated $14,000 loss. However, this loss will have a ripple effect across the family run business.
"Whomever took those apples, six families count on the income from this farm. And losing any of it, always, it will hurt somebody," Spicer said.
Plans are to increase security measures to help prevent another incident in the future.
"We already kind of planned on fencing it off, which would give us gates to close and things like that to hopefully help us out, and more cameras obviously," Spicer said.
Anyone with information on the theft is asked to call the Genesee County Sheriff's Office.