MCCOOK, Neb. (AP) — About 100 pumpkins of all sizes and colors have been stolen from a garden in rural McCook, just days before the owners' pumpkin party.
The thief or thieves first unplugged an electric security fence that surrounded the nearly 7,000-square-foot plot that also contained ornamental gourds and Indian corn.
Dave McCarty said he discovered the overnight theft on Sunday.
"To take one or two is one thing ... but to wipe us out, that's something else," McCarty said.
His wife, Angi, said her husband had spent many hours on the garden, watering, weeding and fertilizing with compost tea and fish kelp. She and their grandchildren went out this past summer to check the growth of the pumpkins, especially the ones the kids had picked out for themselves.
One of their grandchildren, a 5-year-old, cried when she heard that her pumpkin was taken, Angi McCarty said. Then the little girl said, "How rude!"
"There's no monetary value on this; that's not what it's about," her grandmother said. "Dave didn't grow these for a couple of hoodlums to take it all."
The McCartys already had sent invitations to friends and family for a hayrack ride and pumpkin-picking party. The hayrack ride is still scheduled, but some pumpkins will have to be bought to maintain the party theme.
Dave was philosophical about the loss.
"If the hail doesn't get it, the bugs don't get it, then the thieves will," he said with a shrug.
No arrests have been reported.
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