Waikouaiti resident Laurol Chadwick is bewildered by the theft of almost her entire crop of black boy peaches. Photo by Dan Hutchinson.
Laurol Chadwick is concerned she has become the target of
thieves who are on the prowl for a balanced diet.
Over the last three years, she has had fruit and vegetables
stolen from the gardens around her Waikouaiti home,
culminating in the disappearance of a whole crop of black boy
peaches last week.
''I have had seven pumpkins taken, all my broad beans, a
whole lot of new potatoes, carrots, lettuce and now about
five buckets full of black boy peaches.''
She said the thefts were happening either at night or when
she was out of the house.
The property is fenced all the way around and, in the latest
raid, the thieves trampled the garden under her peach tree.
She said the broad beans were the first thing to go, with the
poachers stripping the plant of its leaves as well, with just
the stalks remaining.
The garden supplies herself and her husband all year around
and there was always some left over to give to friends and
''It is quite annoying because if someone wanted something, I
would quite gladly give it to them.
''I suppose it is the economy and people can't afford it. It
is just annoying when someone thinks they have more right to
She said the peaches were not even ripe yet so it was a
''complete waste''. The only ones she has left are the ones
right at the top of the tree.
Constable Lesley Eason, of Waikouaiti, said she had looked
into the latest theft but had no firm suspects.
People had been seen taking apples off a tree further down
the road, but it was not thought to be related to Mrs
Chadwick's missing produce.
Const Eason said she was not aware of any other garden thefts
in the area but anyone caught stealing fruit and vegetables
could be charged with theft and being unlawfully on a
Mrs Chadwick has taken some measures of her own by installing
an electric fence - ''the kind you use for horses'' around
this year's crop of pumpkins.