22,000 Apples Stolen from Farming Family’s Orchard

Who would steal 20,000 apples, and how is that even possible?!

One family in Hartland Township, Michigan, says that is exactly what happened to them, though. Earlier this month the family went out to see if the apples had hit their peak stage of ripeness and they were simply gone.

Shutterstock 20000 apples stolen from farming family feat
Shutterstock

Under the cover of darkness, thousands of pounds of apples simply… vanished.

How the Family Discovered the 20,000 Apples Were Stolen

The Spicer family has been running Spicer Orchards since 1968, and say that they have never experienced or even heard of theft like this. According to local reports, the orchard is a local favorite for apple picking and other fun fall activities.

The family went out on Sunday, October 6, to check on the ripeness of the apples. It’s important, the Spicer’s explain, to pick the apples at their peak stages of ripeness. The apples in the orchard weren’t quite where the Spicer’s wanted them to be.

On Wednesday, October 9, the family went out again to see if they were ready. Instead, they discovered acres and acres of empty trees.

This is a Big Job for Apple Thieves

The Spicer’s say that this had to have happened under the cover of darkness because none of their neighbors saw anything. This wouldn’t have been a small-scale theft, after all.

The Spicer’s estimate that over 20,000 apples were stolen between Sunday and Wednesday. They planned to harvest over 7,000 pounds of apples this season for a variety of uses, not just plain selling.

The apples stolen are worth upwards of $14,000, so this isn’t a cheap theft.

“It would have had to be three of four trucks,” One of the Spicer family explained. “At least a crew of nine.”

The Apple Thieves Didn’t Know What They Were Doing

The family said that they didn’t really know what they were doing, because while the orchard was wiped clean of apples, they didn’t distinguish between ripe and unripe apples. Instead, anything that was on the tree was removed.

The family is confident that it wasn’t animals, as there are no traces of any apples or remnants on the ground. Not that we can imagine a group of animals large enough to eat 22,000 apples from a tree.

The Spicer family has now installed trail cams to help prevent future thefts, but this year there is simply no harvest.

“It takes us all year to grow apples and every single one of them is very important to us.”