By Tim Binnall
The owner of an orchard in Indiana could not believe his eyes when he discovered that thieves had somehow stolen a staggering 50,000 apples from the trees on his property. The epic heist reportedly unfolded at the Williams Orchard in the community of Hesston last week and went unnoticed until a routine check of the fruit crop over the weekend. It was at that point that owner Jon Drummond was "completely floored" when he saw "an entire block of trees, nearly cleanly picked, when just days earlier there were thousands and thousands of apples on them."
"We just couldn't even fathom it," the bewildered owner recalled, speculating that the lack of any apples on the ground suggested a somewhat sophisticated operation. Drummond posited that ne'er-do-wells likely climbed the trees, shook them, and then collected all of the dislodged fruit via large tarps placed around the area. That would seem to make sense considering that picking all of the apples by hand would have taken hours if not days.
All told, Drummond estimated that around 50,000 apples were stolen, which the orchard could have sold for about $27,000. Perhaps because the pilfered fruit amounted to only five percent of his total crop, the owner seems more amazed by the caper than angry, walking among the barren trees and marveling "I still can't believe it. There's just so many apples gone." As for where all that fruit may have wound up, Drummond indicated that the huge haul was likely used to produce applesauce or cider.