Tom Holtzhauser, farmer, said never has he seen theft this grand
“I call it a kick in my stomach,” Tom Holtzhauser said after he discovered 65 of his white peach trees were picked clean this week. The lost peaches equate to 600 pounds of retail product.
Holtzhauser has grown peaches, now 32 varieties, on his farm in Mullica Hill for 42 years and said never has he experienced a theft this grand.
“We’ve been robbed before, you see cars pull off the side of the road and they grab two or three [single peaches] and run but we’ve never been stolen from at this magnitude,” he said.
Holtzhauser estimates the dollar loss at around $1,000 — a number he said would take him five to six days to earn on the market.
“I’m out all my hard work I put out through the year. I rely on every single piece of fruit picked. Every single piece is worth money. It’s not just in baskets or pounds,” he said.
After an employee discovered the bare trees on Tuesday, July 3, Holtzhauser notified Harrison Township Police. A report was made and he and the department urge anyone with information to come forward.
Looking ahead, he said, “It’s gone. I don’t have the peaches. I don’t have the money.”
“We are worried,” he said, adding he and his workers will remain vigilant and find ways to make up the lost profit.
If anyone has information contact the Harrison Township Police Department dispatch at (856) 589–0911.