Monica Pennings, who along with her husband, Jack, owns Pennings Orchard on Route 94 South, immediately issued a warning to all the other apple orchards in the local area.
On Saturday, Sept. 7, she and members of her staff uncovered some people, a group of men and women, stealing bushels of apples.
The apple-picking procedure, as in other orchards, is for visitors to pick up empty bags at the entrance and then pay for each bag of apples picked on the way out.
Each car is charged $30 for a 1/2-bushel bag, which is approximately 22 pounds.
“We understand that many people, especially those with children, will sample an apple or two while they are picking but obviously these were professional thieves,” said Pennings. “They brought extra bags and just kept refilling them and hiding the apples in a hidden storage trunk area that’s now a feature of some cars. And they could also use their own bags to stow the apples near the road and then retrieve them after they leave.”
She assumes their intent was to steal hundreds of dollars worth of apples from orchards and then resell them.
As an added attraction apple pickers and their families are invited to visit the dairy barn, the farm animals, kiddie maze and play area. And children especially enjoy the family's pet goats
To make matters worse on that Saturday, the same apple thieves, even after they were caught red handed, asked Pennings if they could buy two of her goats for meat.
She told them they were not for sale and that same evening, two, out of the 12 pet goats in the pen, were stolen.
“They were our only males, which usually means they were probably stolen for meat,” said Pennings, “and we will never see them again.”
Anyone with information about the missing goats is asked to call Warwick police at 986-3423.
Pennings Orchard is open September and October, seven days each week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For information about Penning’s Orchard and the apples available for picking, call 986-7080 or visit www.penningsorchard.com.
- Roger Gavan