Cops watching for pecan thieves

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 10, 2011

Forget the copper and power tools; thieves apparently now have a hot new commodity – pecans.

Andalusia Police Chief Wilbur Williams said officers have responded to several locations throughout the city because of reports of trespassers picking up nuts without the property owner’s permission.

“We haven’t arrested anyone yet because of it, but we have a number of complaints of suspects on other people’s property picking up pecans,” Williams said. “It’s a violation of the law. Period. If you don’t have permission and you take that property, it doesn’t matter if it’s pecans or copper. It’s against the law.”

Williams said he believes with the price of pecans going at upwards of $1.50 per pound, the steady demand of the holiday favorite and the local availability, there could be more instances reported of people trespassing to get the nuts.

“It’s been a bumper crop, and they say that the bulk of the crop hasn’t even dropped yet,” he said. “With the price the way it is, people can make a lot of extra cash by picking up pecans – but the kicker is, it has to be their pecans or they have permission to be there to pick them up.”

“People who are caught are subject to arrest if the property owner is there and wants to sign a complaint.”

Williams said violators could face third-degree theft charges.

– Stephanie Nelson