by Max Brantley
New York Times, in Georgia, reports on the rise in pecan thefts. Yes, pecan thefts. At $1.50 a pound, they are easy to grab up, impossible to identify as stolen goods and readily turned into cash at processors.
Surely not in Arkansas. But the crop of the official state nut was up substantially this year.
UPDATE: An Arkansas farmer tells me this is the worst season he's seen for pecan thievery, with crews of people setting upon orchards. Illegal pickers have torn down "Posted" signs. 18 uninvited people turned up in his orchard near Scott last weekend and threatened a couple that had been invited to come pick. He says wet weather has made it hard for mechanical harvesters to get into the field, leaving windfall for the thieves. The sheriff's office is on call, he said.