It's brazen enough when someone walks into a grocery store, picks up a bunch of grapes and snacks on them while they continue shopping. It's a whole different ball game when they actually go to the source and steal the fruit right off the trees.
Volunteers at the Loudoun Master Gardener Demonstration Garden in Ida Lee Park are trying to figure out just that. According to Leesburg Today, someone went in and snatched more than 100 pounds of apples and pears right off the trees.
They might not have noticed, were it not for the lack of low-hanging fruit that had been weighing the branches down.
At first, volunteers thought it might have been some hungry critters. But after taking a second glance, they realized the thieves made a clean getaway -- no fruit was on the ground. They told Leesburg Todaythieves have struck in the past but never to this magnitude.
Aside from losing the fruits of their labor, volunteers said it's a big blow to the Loudoun Interfaith Relief Food Pantry. For nearly two decades volunteers have donated produce for those in need. Last year alone, the gardeners produced 1,900 pounds of fresh produce.
Despite the setback the group hopes it can still come close to last year's total. Meanwhile, they will install more lights and signs around the garden, hoping it will deter any repeat criminals from striking near North King Street.