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Family are stunned to find people raiding veg they leave out for locals – without leaving a penny

UK News

When a family of farmers set up an honesty box to help shift their produce the business model was a simple one.

They left fresh veg, eggs and flowers as well as jars of jam and relish on two wooden stalls at the kerbside by their farm, in Mylor, Cornwall, along with a price list and collection tin.

But when Lynne Chellew, 59, and sister-in-law Sally Chellew, 60, came to collect their earnings they were dismayed.

The women discovered £59 of goods had gone missing and not a penny left in the box.

When Lynne Chellew, 59, (left) and sister-in-law Sally Chellew, 60, (right) came to collect their earnings they were dismayed. The women discovered £59 of goods had gone missing and not a penny left in the box

When Lynne Chellew, 59, (left) and sister-in-law Sally Chellew, 60, (right) came to collect their earnings they were dismayed. The women discovered £59 of goods had gone missing and not a penny left in the box

A second incident was recorded on Sunday February 14 when a woman was seen taking a bunch of fresh flowers and a jar of marmalade, together priced £8

Rather than pay the price stated she left five pence in copper coins and made off

A second incident was recorded on Sunday February 14 when a woman was seen taking a bunch of fresh flowers and a jar of marmalade, together priced £8. Rather than pay the price stated she left five pence in copper coins and made off

In a bid to clamp down on the thefts the women erected CCTV cameras at the stall to catch the culprits in the act.

The cameras were installed just two weeks ago but have already recorded two people stealing the Chellews’ produce.

One man was caught after he took two pots of the family’s famous ‘Saucy Sal’s’ strawberry jam and a jar of red cabbage relish – an £11 haul.

After the sisters uploaded his photo to social media he was identified and police investigated.

The Chellews have since recouped the money under a community resolution order.

They left fresh veg, eggs and flowers as well as jars of jam and relish on two wooden stalls at the kerbside by their farm, in Mylor, Cornwall, along with a price list and collection tin

They left fresh veg, eggs and flowers as well as jars of jam and relish on two wooden stalls at the kerbside by their farm, in Mylor, Cornwall, along with a price list and collection tin

The honesty box system was set up last summer and had worked well despite minor petty thefts. But after the £59 worth of goods including candles, rolling pins and children’s hats were taken the women were forced to act

The honesty box system was set up last summer and had worked well despite minor petty thefts. But after the £59 worth of goods including candles, rolling pins and children’s hats were taken the women were forced to act

A second incident was recorded on Sunday February 14 when a woman was seen taking a bunch of fresh flowers and a jar of marmalade, together priced £8.

Rather than pay the price stated she left five pence in copper coins and made off.

The woman has now also been identified and the Chellews said police would visit her in due course.

Lynne said: ‘We aren’t in it for big profits – we started during the lockdown so that local people could get fresh veg, eggs and produce without driving too far to a supermarket.

‘We have so many fantastic and loyal customers who love what we’re doing.

‘They like the idea of buying home-grown food with no air miles.’

They said they had received widespread support from the community which was left outraged by the thefts

They said they had received widespread support from the community which was left outraged by the thefts

The honesty box system was set up last summer and had worked well despite minor petty thefts.

But after the £59 worth of goods including candles, rolling pins and children’s hats were taken the women were forced to act.

Lynne set up four CCTV cameras she’d bought and posted a warning sign.

It read: ‘When CCTV captures someone taking goods and leaving no money, or pretending to put the correct amount for the goods in the honesty box, the images of that person WILL be displayed on our stall… and WILL be posted on Public Facebook [and] reported to Police.’

Just two hours later they had caught the jam and relish raider on camera.

The Chellews, who run a 150-acre beef farm said they would continue to report thieves to the police despite the minor amounts taken.

In a bid to clamp down on the thefts the women erected CCTV cameras at the stall to catch the culprits in the act

In a bid to clamp down on the thefts the women erected CCTV cameras at the stall to catch the culprits in the act

They said they had received widespread support from the community which was left outraged by the thefts.

Lynne added: ‘The few who think they can steal are not going to get away with it. We’re not in the business of being victims.

‘We will get thieves named and shamed whenever we can.

‘[The woman is] also going to be interviewed by police. We hope she’ll pay what she owes.

‘It’s still a crime. People have to learn respect.

‘We set up the shop because we enjoy providing people with our produce. Our regular customers are as outraged as anyone.

The Chellews, who run a 150-acre beef farm said they would continue to report thieves to the police despite the minor amounts taken

The Chellews, who run a 150-acre beef farm said they would continue to report thieves to the police despite the minor amounts taken

‘We’ve found little notes in the box telling us to keep going and that what happened was disgusting.

‘One kind lady even paid more than the price asked because she didn’t want us to lose out.’

A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police said: ‘Police were called on February 15 at 5.30pm to reports of a theft in Perranarworthal, near Truro.

‘Flowers and homemade marmalade were taken from an honesty stall outside of a property without payment being offered.

‘Investigations are ongoing.’

DailyMail Online


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