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First Copper – Now Pecans?

As the price of pecans has risen, so has the number of thefts.

Pecans in Georgia have gone the same way as copper, according to local law enforcement.

“We still have a problem with people stealing – especially copper,” said Walton County Chief Deputy Bruce Wright at the January TRIAD meeting in Loganville. “But now we’re having a problem with pecans too. Since the price of pecans has doubled, we’ll get a call and there will be people on someone else’s property picking up pecans. It’s sort of comical really, but it’s still stealing. People need to understand they can’t just go onto somebody else’s property and pick up pecans.”

But it’s not just in Walton County that this has become a problem - it is statewide. On Dec. 19, 2011, the New York Times published a story on the problem for Georgia’s pecan farmers – those with acres of pecan orchards ready to be harvested and shipped to market. According to the article, a pound – about 30 nuts – would fetch about $1.50 at a local buying station. As a result, thieves are turning up with sacks, loading them up, and driving off with a couple of thousand dollars worth of stolen pecans.

The pecan season runs from October to January, so it should be coming to an end soon. In the meantime, local law enforcement is warning people to remember that if it isn’t their property, and they don’t have permission to collect those pecans, it is not only trespassing – it is also stealing.

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