Stealing from personal plantations is common offence in the Cook Islands, and recently 100 pineapples were stolen from Fenny Smith’s planation in Arorangi.
Her husband Ewan posted on “Rarotonga-Community and Beyond” notifying readers that they had discovered on the morning of New Year’s Eve that the pineapples had been stolen.
“It’s very disappointing to go to Fenny’s plantation this morning and find that around 100 pineapples have been freshly picked by persons unknown,” he wrote.
“She (Fenny) has worked really hard to develop her small farm. Its theft - plain and simple. No different to stealing money or other property,” he added.
The post received over 450 reactions and over 140 comments.
Many people were shocked at the behaviour of those responsible for the theft.
Steph Joseph wrote: “How nasty! If they’d asked I bet Fenny would have given some! Taking 100 is pretty planned. You don’t just walk by and pop that many into your pocket! someone must know something. Dob them in. Hugs to Fenny. How frustrating to put all that work in, enjoy watching them mature and then have some thief take them all.”
Another Facebook user added that in their experience, thieves would try to sell the pineapples to restaurants on the island.
“All you restaurants out there who have someone come around trying to sell pineapples, beware and take their photo. That’s how we caught one lot of thieves,” Sue Fletcher-Vea wrote.
Maire Nui wrote: “They didn’t want one, they took 100 to sell. Making money off someone else’s hard work and sweat. My heart goes out to you Fenny.
And Maybelline Bullen commented: “Does anyone in the community know of people that don’t have pineapple plantations but suddenly have an abundant supply for sale? Sadly, this is all becoming too common for people to raid someone’s hard work and make money for themselves (that includes flowers too, people).”