A smash-and-grab hits a local pumpkin stand in Wayne County, forcing the family to pull the pumpkins from the shelves.
A smash-and-grab hits a local pumpkin stand, forcing the family to pull the pumpkins from the shelves.
Across Wayne County, roadside stands line the roads showcasing local produce.
On Palmyra-Newark Road, the Koeberle family has been selling pumpkins for the last four years. The stand operated under the honor system. The stand sits outside of their business, Reynolds Auction Co.
The owner, David Koeberle, comes from a family of farmers. He began growing and selling the pumpkins with his son as a fun family hobby.
He said his son, who is now in his teens, wanted to keep the cash for college. But on Wednesday, they discovered a robber smashed the cash box.
"It is amazing people would stop and do that right in the middle of the day," expressed Koeberle.
He knows the money lost is minimal, but the community echoes his frustrations over not being able to have a simple roadside stand without it being stolen from and damaged.
"That's what bothers me the most. I grew up on an honest farm. I can't believe someone would steal something so miniscule. Farmers work so hard to put produce out there… to take it, it's just unacceptable," he said.
According to Koeberle, pumpkins have been stolen nearly every day since he opened the stand just a week ago.
In addition to losing the money, he also lost his crop this year. "We had a bad crop, a dry year," he said, explaining they had to purchase the patch of pumpkins from a local farmer.
In addition to that cost, the money it will take to replace the cash box equals more than the money stolen from inside of it.
For now, the family is closing up shop.
Koeberle has contacted police after the cash box was destroyed and hopes cameras can catch the highway robbers.