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Londonderry keeps eye out for red-handed apple thieves
LONDONDERRY — With apple season in full swing, staff at Moose Hill Orchards in Londonderry are keeping a watchful eye on its parking areas after several instances where customers snuck fruit into their trunks without paying.
“We see this year after year,” Orchard Manager Mike Cross said on Friday. “But it’s definitely on the uptick during our busy weekends.”
The weather was unseasonably warm last weekend and local orchards were bustling with activity. In the midst of all the excitement, several “bad apples” managed to make off without paying, he said.
Mack’s Apples, which operates out of Moose Hill Orchards, currently has several locations open. With miles upon miles of orchards, its sometimes difficult to catch folks who fill their bags of apples, empty those bags into the trunks of their cars, and fill them all over again.
In most cases, the orchard staff was able to catch the would-be-fruit thieves and ask for payment.
But just to be on the safe side, the farm has hired a few extra staff members to wear street clothes and patrol the parking areas during busy fall days.
“We’ll definitely be watching out,” said Cross.
So far this season, no charges have been pressed against any apple thieves, but last year two local men faced criminal charges after a Londonderry Police officer literally caught two of the men red-handed, carrying backpacks of stolen Elwood Orchard apples down West Road, while a Massachusetts couple was also arrested after being caught in the process of sneaking three bushels of apples into their van near Moose Hill Orchards on Pillsbury Road.
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