Man fined $500 for stealing sweet potatoes
A man was fined $500 fine for stealing 25lbs of sweet potatoes.
Normando Simons, 63, admitted taking the vegetables from a farm in Somerset owned by J & J Produce.
Magistrates’ Court heard that Simons, from St George’s, was caught when a government inspector spotted him digging up the potatoes with a hand rake.
The inspector took photographs and confronted Simons, who said that he had permission to harvest the crop and left with a bag of sweet potatoes.
The inspector alerted one of the owners of the farm and sent her pictures of the thief.
The woman co-owner said that neither she nor her husband had given permission to harvest the crop and they contacted police.
Simons was later arrested for theft and admitted the offence while in custody. The incident happened on February 21.
Simons apologised for his actions and told the court: “It was a foolish thing to do.”
Magistrate Juan Wolffe ordered Simons to pay the fine by June 28.
Roland Hill Jr, an owner of J & J Produce, said that he was glad that justice had been done.
He explained: “Every day, every farmer faces this problem. I figure about $500 every day is stolen from me.
Mr Hill added: “The bigger problem is that they might steal 50 pounds of broccoli, but they damage just as much as they take.”
Mr Hill added that security on farmland was a problem.
He said: “I farm from Somerset to St George’s and I can’t be everywhere all the time.
“Just because my business doesn’t have walls protecting it doesn’t mean you can walk into my farm and take something.”
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