BETHLEHEM, Conn. (AP) - To one Connecticut orchard owner, the approach of fall is the start of apple-picking season and pickers who steal.
Thomas March, owner of March Farm in Bethlehem, said he recently found about 100 pounds of apples in bags left by the side of the road where people could have returned later to retrieve them.
The haul could have cost the farm $150 in lost revenue.
The Republican-American reports that the open-air shoplifters carry their own bags into the fields instead of paying ahead of time.
Lynn Horvath, the farm's store manager, estimates pilfering costs thousands of dollars every season and it's gotten worse in the last decade.
Resident Trooper Cono D'Elia said Troop L in Litchfield is aware of the problem, but patrols are scarce with only one trooper covering Bethlehem and Woodbury.
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