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Facebook post prompts thieves to return stolen watermelons

Friday 25 November 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Local, National

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Facebook post prompts thieves to return stolen watermelons
Planting is a family affair for Tui Tupa and her family – kids help out harvesting watermelons. SUPPLIED/22112430

Thanks to social media and a caring community, watermelon thieves who raided a family plot in Arorangi were identified on Wednesday – the same afternoon the awareness notice was posted.

Tui Tupa and her family are hardworking farmers who “plant all the time”.

Over the weekend, Tupa noted their very large ready to harvest melons had been picked, not all at once but over a few days.

Realising the watermelons had actually been stolen, she took action asking the community for help – and the community responded.

Tupa believes the swift posting of the watermelon theft on the Rarotonga Community & Beyond Facebook page hindered the four male perpetrators from selling the produce.

“I’m really appreciative to our community for responding so quickly and passing on information like the vehicle registration numbers which gave us leads and on Wednesday we found them.

“Thank you to the community, this harvest is supporting our family especially our kids during the Christmas season,” said Tupa.


The large sized watermelon is the size of melons which had been stolen from a family plot, and returned. SUPPLIED/22112403

Tupa says she does not want to name the culprits, “but I want them to know not to do this kind of thing again. They have apologised and returned the watermelons today (Thursday)”.

Tupa normally supplies their produce to Super Brown, Edgewater Resort and Wigmore’s.

She also sells her family’s produce every Saturday morning opposite the CITC supermarket.