Thief takes every vegetable from 'self-serve' produce stand, leaves 49 cents in exchange

Thief Steals Vegetables
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - "Fairview Fresh Produce" in Paragould is fueled by three acres of crops in Greene County.

"We have okra, squash, tomatoes, cantaloupe, and watermelon," Ty Middleton said.

It's a labor of love that's tended to by Ty and his brother Reece.

"Because it's really fun and it keeps you active and everything," Ty said.

Normally, the veggies are sold at the Paragould Farmer's Market on Saturdays. However, the boys decided to open up a "self-serve" stand on Highway 135 near the Greene County Fairgrounds.

Ty and Reece's mom Denise said it is convenient for their loyal customers.

"We see and meet lots of people at the farmer's market on Saturdays and we'll have some people say, 'Hey, I might want some more okra later in the week,' or 'I might want some more tomatoes.' So now we can say hey, just stop by our self-serve and get whatever you need on your way home from work or on your way to work in the morning," Denise said.

Of course, they warned Ty and Reece that not everyone would honor the honor system.

"We told them it's gonna happen," Denise said. "Someone is going to get something and not pay for it. Inevitably, it's gonna happen."

Regardless, they went through with it. Tuesday night, the boys stocked the stand and hoped for the best.

"We had some a bunch of watermelon, some cantaloupe and I think some okra," Ty said.

However, when the boy's dad checked the stand Wednesday morning, nothing was there.

"Someone came and stole all of our stuff," Ty said.

All of the produce was gone and only 49 cents was left in the drop box.

"I was kinda sad and kinda mad a little bit," Ty said.

However, the boys decided that staying mad wasn't the answer. They chose to pray for whoever stole their produce instead.

Ty said if they needed it to feed their family, they prayed it was nutritional for them.

"And if was a thief, we pray for God to forgive them," Ty said.

Denise said since the produce was stolen, many people have reached out wanting to pay for what was taken.

However, she said Ty and Reece decided that any money given to them because of this will then be given to the Children's Shelter.

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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Posted by Region 8 News on Thursday, July 21, 2016

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