Exotic fruit stolen from Pine Island farm
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
PINE ISLAND, Fla. - One local family is turning to police after more than $3,000 of exotic lychee fruit was stolen from their three-and-a-half acre farm.
According to a police report the fruit was stolen early in the morning on June 1, 2013.
Charlie Chou, the owner of the Pine Island farm says the thieves made off with about 500 lbs of the little red fruit.
"All your labor, you just wait for these two weeks and then it's gone," said Chou.
Chou is referring to the two weeks that the lychee fruit is ripe for harvest during the year.
He says the fruit bandits first came to his farm over Memorial Day weekend, damaging a fence that gated the farm. Chou believes the thieves realized that the fruit wasn't ripe yet so they left.
"I put a new one up so they wouldn't come from this side," said Chou.
That didn't stop the thieves, they came back a week later when the fruit was ripe.
"They picked out the good ones, the big ones," said Chou, "So they must be professional people."
Chou says this isn't the first time people have stolen from him in the15 years that he's had the farm, but in the past only 10 or 15 pounds were stolen.
"You can't stop them coming. You can't do anything. You plant some new fruit and they take it away," said Chou.