Food Thieves Prove Tough Times Are Here Already

by | Jul 6, 2010 | Headline News | 29 comments

Do you LOVE America?


    Normally we hear about thieves breaking into a house to steal a flat screen TV, or jacking someone’s car.

    But, with the economy falling apart and millions out of work, stories like these will become much more common, as TV’s, computers, cell phones and home furnishings start taking a back seat to essential goods like food:

    The sign on the side of the road reads, “Home grown veggies for sale,” but thieves apparently ignored the words, “for sale”.

    The theft happened over the weekend at a home along Bennetts Bridge Road in the Greer area of Spartanburg County.

    The homeowner didn’t want to be identified, but told deputies that someone stole 40 pounds of ripe tomatoes, 20 pounds of lima and butter beans and took all of her cucumbers and squash.

    She blames the economy for the crimes.

    source: MSNBC

    The victim is likely right. The fair market value of those vegetables is roughly $150.

    Chances are that whoever stole that food is not headed down to the nearest pawn shop to off-load it. They are likely bringing the veggies back to the house for personal consumption.

    While we may experience a strong deflationary impact to debt based goods like house prices, chances are that the essentials like energy and food are going to rise significantly in relation to wages. If you’ve been to the grocery store lately and picked up a week’s worth of veggies and fruits, then you can attest to the costs.

    It’s not cheap to eat healthy.

    Hat tip Roger Mack for sending this one over


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      1. Exactly why I started my garden this year (have had them in the past).  Going to add raspberry & blackberry bushes and grapes this year – it will take several years for the grapes but needed to add fruit to my home grown food supplies. 

      2. It is happening all over the county.
        I have a farm and the local food banks call and begs for leftovers every week I never have any because all the locals that are broke glean everything that I have left .

        I ran an add at the local bulletin board for help to cut and winnow my spring oats I trade 5 lbs rolled oats per hour of labor.

        I needed to 2 helpers I had 35 people contact me.

        2 years ago no one would ever call.


      3. As I went to athens tennessee a few days ago, I passed a huge corn field  along the side of the road.  On the other side of the road were scattered houses but not much else.  This went on for a few miles and the thought came to me ” How long will it be before the farmer who owns this field will have to post guards to keep corn theives away?”   

        It would be very easy to stop, jump out , grab a basket of fresh corn and drive away.   The worse things get the more that will happen. 

        Late 2011.   Don’t miss it!

      4. This should not surprise any of us that are living in “REALITY” and not in denial like so many out there.  Unfortunately things are/will get much worse before the balance starts to shift in the opposite direction.  I do wish things could be different but alas they will not change until we change how we view things.

        America/Americans have lost all sense of “Personal Responsibility”, we have denegrated to a society of finger pointers.  It is always anyone eleses fault except for our own, and that is the bottom line.  WE have collectively FELL ASLEEP at the wheel when ti comes to the monitoring/management for those we have in office.   It is no different then blaming your 7 year for trashing the house because YOU left the child alone in the house for 50 years!!!!  Just my 2c….

      5. Hey Will, you might regret adding blackberries.  They take over everything and grow really fast.  The vines grow up out of the ground, and then back down into the ground.  The stuff grows like bamboo, real fast.  Maybe some cherry, lemon, and apple trees instead?

      6. Great comments all.

        Red, thanks for your input. It is really interesting that 2 years ago no one would come do the work and today they’ll do it in exchange for food! Wow.

        Maybe those people holding up the “Will work for food” signs on the highways will actually work for food nowadays… They never would actually mow your lawn, or rake the leaves or do anything before…

      7. I’m afraid we ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Stories like these are still in the realm of ‘the tip of the iceberg’. And realizing that there ain’t gonna be any recovery or return to 2005 ‘happy days’, then we can confidently anticipate much more and much worse that this. Coming right up will be millions of desperate folks who just got dropped from unemployment. Grab yer popcorn and watch the greatest show on Earth go down.

      8. I dunno…..some years ago, friend of mine down the road tried a “honor system” honey stand out on the road in front of his house…..had out several gallons of honey in pints/quarts,  shopper was supposed to drop the money in a slot.  People took his honey,  AND broke into the money box couple times…..he gave it up.

        And this was when times were fine….so I don’t know that I’d make too much of one veggie robbery……especially given how sorry most folks are now days and wouldn’t have a clue HOW to clean/cook a raw vegetable.


        How long will it be before the farmer who owns this field will have to post guards to keep corn theives away?”   

        That corn is probably field corn…grown for grain for animals.

        Not worth eating –it’s really gross.

      10. Mac – can’t believe the timeliness of your article! Sister-in-law called last night. Her son, who lives in a medium-sized east TX town, has a good garden this year in his fenced back yard, right behind his house. Woke last week to find a man in the yard helping himself to a big bag of veggies!! Hope the family over there realize things like that are only going to get more frequent!!! I got to remind husband and son that the things I’m doing as a prepper are legitimate! Asked them what they would do if the same thing happened to us!! Didn’t get an answer, but I sure hope it made them think!!!

      11. Grape Growing:  I planted grapes last year in grow tubes.  I have grapes on 75% of the vines this year.  Using grow tubes you will get grapes a year earlier.  Since we get snow, I left the tubes on  through the winter.

        got my grow tubes from:

        I use the 24″ grow tubes which is the height of the first support wire.

      12. Above in the comments, Stan writes, “How long will it be before the farmer who owns this field will have to post guards to keep corn theives away?”
        Does not the farmer suffer already at the hands of thieves who call themselves the IRS and who call their own thefts income tax?

      13. When Y2K was the hot topic in the news, most people still had the financial means to prepare. Now, people are having trouble putting food on the table. As things continue to get even worse, don’t be surprised to hear about home intrusions in broad daylight, as the need to eat takes priority.Curious how the courts react to killing food thieves.Who can afford an attorney these days ? 

        Don’t keep all your eggs in one basket. 

      14. I hope many of you city dwellers are making plans to leave.
        If supply lines do break down, then everyone living in major cities are going to be toast.  Food will be gone in days, maybe hours.
        At least in the country,  there will be food to steal.  

        ps:  you won’t like missouri, so don’t come here…lol

      15. Comments…..if you think it’s bad now, give it six months.  On a curious note.  I overheard a teenager working the counter at a Taco Bell commenting about the unemployment figures. Even a regular teen, who probably never watches any news, knows nothing about the government, nothing about our economy, knows something is bad wrong.
           As in my previous comment on another thread, “if you think it’s bad now, give it six months”.

      16. We buy a lot of fresh veggies and fruit this time of year at roadside stands.  One really cool place south of Empire, Mi. there’s a great place to buy fresh goodies that was on the honor system.  This is the first year you have to walk up to the house to get help.    The woman told me last year was bad and they expected this year to be worse.  Can’t say as I blame her.   

      17. Just got back from the farmers market here in town, and would like to point out that it’s a good idea to go to these.  I got REAL farm fresh eggs (not those nasty ones from the store), nice tomatoes, romaine lettuce, chard, whole milk, bing cherries, purple carrots, onions (with greens still attached), baby garlic bulbs, and snap peas.  All organic, and for about the same as I would have paid for the mexican produce in the store.

        Of course, the REALLY IMPORTANT thing I got was meeting and greeting the local farmers.  They all live within about five miles, and by getting to know them, I’m setting up relationships where I might eventually volunteer some time in exchange for food.  I can afford food, so why bother?  Well, when the times get ultra shitty, I bet that these farmers (my friends) are going to be a lot more comfortable getting help from someone they know, rather than the illegal immigrant that happens to show up.

        Relationships in your community are very important, especially the ones where food might be involved.  Not just today, but in the future.

      18. Really interesting reading these stories. Here in Australia we’re constantly told how we’ve escaped the ‘Global Financial Crisis’ (as it’s called here), and the Reserve Bank (our version of the US Federal Reserve) seems to think if the stock market is up and the banker’s are making money again then everything is OK, and they should raise interest rates.
        However, we are in the same predicament as the US in that wages for the average person have not gone anywhere for many years and people have accumulated an enormous amount of debt just to stay afloat. People can no longer take on any more debt, however those in control seem to be totally oblivious this and think everything is rosy, and are apparently honestly surprised when less-than-stellar retail and building figures come in. Idiots they are, living in la-la land.

      19. @ Gutfeeling:  I hate to be your guinea pig, but those are the same lies we’ve been told over here.  I’ve thought (more than once) about bagging out and heading for Aussie land or NZ, but never had the stones to do it.  Keep your eyes open and don’t let them get you, brother!

      20. I’m not a Bible scholar yet but I recall…
        somewhere in the bible there is a passage about leaving some of your crop standing for the poor and hungry to collect.
        In the past I’ve heard farmers saying they do not count the first rows because the Deer and Elk will always take them…It’s time to make the same assumption for the hungry…

      21. Your proactive approach is one of the great lessons of this global financial crisis. It is a shame that we humans have such an aversion to laying the groundwork for a project. We seem to have that “just in time” mindset. That seems to work great in a boom and not so great in a bust. Those who have put in the time to build a relationship with their neighbors, community, customers (businesses), and vendors (businesses) will have an easier time. Sort of a “reap what you sow” kinda thing. I am always amazed that in boom times, people just want to scratch out a check, instead of actually spending their time to lend someone a hand. Well, in the cycles of life, when we reach the top, the only place to go is down. If you were proactive, you might not have to go all the way to the bottom. It will be interesting to see, as we ride to the top in  the next boom, if anyone will remember what it was like looking down from the top of this one.   

      22. I was refering to your proactive approach Johnny V.

      23. I said a long time ago that “farm security firms” were going to be a booming business in the near future. I think we are going to see armed guards patrolling farmers’ acreage like they’re growing gold. We’re gonna see barbed-wire fences and german shepards behind them roaming the conr fields. Its all coming.

      24. Last year was the first year I had people just stop along the road & pick apples off my trees. Never asked or took note of “No Trespassing” signs. Guess they’re called “Road Gleaners”. This year I’ve had 8 different people stop & ask if I had any scrap metal that I could give them to haul away and if they could have the apples & plums when they were ripe. They even mentioned that my laying chickens looked fat. My guess is that I was being “cased”.
         These people got me remembering back when my granny told me of thieves taking everything that wasn’t nailed down & stole the chickens along with the eggs off the farm. Stole the fuel out of the tractors and took corn out of the corn crib during the night. They even stole the cow dog. Those were supposed to have been hard times.
         So I’m not surprised if people are stealing food. Around here it’s easier for them to steal from a farm than to stand in line for their government handout. Law Enforcement takes a report, files it, and applies for more Federal Grant money to hire more LEO’s because crime is out of control.
         I guess that shotgun beside the back door will be used for more than coyotes & wolves. Sad that we let it get this far.

      25. Comments…..When someone steals a TV set or car etc. I would call him a thief , but if one steals to eat in order to satisfy his hunger, I would not call him a thief, but would rather say that we as a society are failing when it comes to our moral obligation towards charity.
        A co-worker who  lives in a small farming community told me a story about a farmer in his area who used the honor system to sell his eggs, he asked the farmer what if somebody takes a dozen eggs and doesn’t pay, the farmer replied if somebody really needed the eggs and couldn’t pay, should we not let him take it anyway.

      26. im a wrecker driver -i work in law enforcement in california -as a sub contractor –i truly suggest every freakin one of you pay attention to these things ive seen cause theyll sure as hell affect you before the collapse if your not looking at these things -all things i list ive seen first hand through myself or family or friends . ill be vague you can get to the brass tac’s on your own time -heres the blunt problem -regulated freedoms -if you think the govt will lighten up and let the country catch a break your freakin wrong -all ive seen is the laws get worse and enforced more almost to the point of criminal .

        the laws and effects .
        the no ins law —if you have no insurance for car because of unemployment -the first ticket you get -$1400 fine and susp revoked licvence 4 6 months – next time loss of car – reposession in tow yard of car -bigger fines you cant pay -loss of licence longer and -jail time for f.t.a.-f.t.p. <court apear or fine failures >

        property tyaxes -in kansas 2007 they took away retired disablied fixed income help – program to lower tax payment on poroperty by fixed income elderly < almost paid off homes >-second 2008-09 they reassesed all the propertys in shawnee county -they doubled the asessed value wich doubled old folks homes – 2009 – the code enforcement office went proactive instaed of reactive< instead of acting on complaints – they went door to door drumming up fines as in rialto and fontana california >as revenue generators and court cost fundraisers- then in 2010 – even though your only 1.5 years behind in property taxes < doubled now > —they send you a court summons – instead of giveing you 3-5 years to catch up – after a year and a half – they claim a year 15 years ago – some how you failed to pay 1 cent $00.01 say in 19997 – well beside being behind in taxes in 2009-2010 of say $1500.00 – your back taxes go back to 1997  for a cent – so now they can calim your more than 1 cent behind and more than 5 years over due so they give you 30 days to anwer and pay and take and auction the family farm .
        then theres the tennant laws of california and other places –
        if youve ever been evicted or forclosed – you will be luckier than hell to ever get back into another place -because of mgmt co. procedural computer programs -if you cant pas acredi check or have an eviction -your barred from getting back into a place -also these places for various reasons no longer let people by laws live in them -houses-if your credit sucks you cant buy one or lease one-appts will not let you in if exicted previouslyin homes you cant live in a relkatives back yard or in a trailer or rv in residential dist code enf laws-you cantsaty at a friebd appt if your not on the lease or mgmt agreement they get evicted -you cant live in your cars or rvs or camp trailers on a city street -municipal laws -you cant live in  acar or van -vagrancy laws -you cant pitch a tent on private or public propertycode enf laws . rv parks /mobile home parks -state recreation parks dept of foresrtyparks historical sites and city parks will not let you camp or live there .–so where the freak are you supposed to go in a city- i asked this to code enf officer –“they could not tell me where to lawfully go other than a shelter -wich is usually packed and crime ridden -for more than a week –no other legal places to park without renting or buying if possible – the town was 15 miles square the population 120,000 ? no where to go if you have no money -legally –sad – pan handling-vagrancy and loitering laws strickly enforced . so no place to go-every code enf ticket -is finable for $100.00 if you cant pay iot it goes to warrant they put you in a cell and work you for pay -then when ca runs out of money they”ll-kick all the inmates and convicts out .

        homeless financial laws – no dumpster diving -recycling the require cdl for id so after$600. the 1099 you or the cops get you for more, lack of  being properly licence fine you impounds your vehicle for working without a city vendors lic.# and — so all the laws make things much harder .– see you by -daniel

      27. we will see more and more of this in the next few years. Add to the current economic crises the coming seafood shortages, coast area evacs and not only will there be food thieves but homeless tent cities everywhere.

        camping supplies will also be targeted.

      28. I left this out in the first post:

        I have had thefts in the past (not food).

        So I put an 8′ fence around the entire farm cost $7k  was worth every penny.

        Then the next year caught a thief steeling fence posts, I blew a large hole in a thief’s van with a 12ga as he was fleeing, he is now enjoying a 15 year stay in the can.

        Word got around and now no ones hits us just the liberals across the street who don’t have guns.

        Bullets, Beans, Barbed Wire, Boards and Bandages the currency that does not lose value!

        Red :>)

      29. Times are terrifying, but I offer some solice, not all of us Youth are ignorant, in my hometown of 30thousand in Northern California there are perhaps hundreds of us kids who are examining the Gorverment and society with a watchful eye, following it possibly as close as all of you. I know of at least four of us who are at a point where we are considering our own evacuation, heading for the hills, and we are between 17 and 14 years old…

        Things look grave, a bleak horizen, and perhaps the saddest thing I periceve, is the entire generation who are on ipods and myspace qhile the world crumbles…it is them who the greatest tradegedy will befall.

        Thanks all of you. I scour the internet for relaible information and if you can assist me with links, rants, information etc. my adress is [email protected] : Farewell.


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