Grand theft gourd: 600 pumpkins stolen from New York farm

Thieves make off with £2,600

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The Independent US

Police are on high alert in New York State today, after a crop of hundreds of pumpkins was boosted from a farm on Long Island last week.

The pumpkins, which are worth around £2,600, disappeared from Rottkamp’s Fox Hollow Farm on the east end of the island at some point between 27 and 30 September.

The farm's owner Lolly Rottkamp told Long Island Newsday that the thieves had clearly known where to look, as their 36-acre pumpkin field was hidden from the road.

There have been several such thefts recently from other farms in the area, though none on this scale.

"It's just an unfortunate situation," said Rottkamp. "A lot of other stands have had robberies also."

"Somebody's on a rampage," she said.

Halloween is the high point of the pumpkin growing calendar, and the speculation is that they were stolen to sell on as jack-o-lanterns.

“Obviously, it’s someone who is selling them,” Det. Timothy Hubbard of the Riverhead Police Department told The New York Post. It is at present unclear how much the stolen pumpkins might be worth on the black market.

Supernatural causes for the disappearance are being ruled out at this stage.