Sheriff: Michigan crop heists are a ‘major league operation’

DETROIT (AP) — Authorities say a “well-organized machine” of thieves appears to be behind the theft of tons of apples and pumpkins from orchards and farms in Michigan and Indiana.

An estimated 7,000 pounds (3,175 kilograms) of apples were discovered missing Oct. 10 from Spicer Orchards in Fenton, Michigan, during the same week that 1,000 pumpkins were pilfered from McCallum’s Orchard in Jeddo. There were also 50,000 apples reportedly stolen from Williams Orchard in LaPorte County, Indiana, just south of the state line.

Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell told the Detroit Free Press Monday that investigators do not have any suspects, but he called the heists “a major league operation.”

The Michigan orchard operators say they will strengthen security with cameras and alarms to deter future thieves.

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Information from: Detroit Free Press, http://www.freep.com