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Thousands of dollars worth of produce missing from Orchards Market in Allentown

By Jaccii Farris, Reporter, JFarris@wfmz.com
Published On: Dec 23 2012 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 24 2012 04:41:53 PM CST

What happened to thousands of dollars worth of produce at a local grocery store?

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -

Did the grocery Grinch strike just days before Christmas?

It's a question Allentown police are trying to answer after a store was cleaned out of $15,000 worth of produce.

After just a week in business, Orchards Market on Union Boulevard said it was is hit.

"Someone took all of the produce out of the store, literally all of the inventory," said owner Ron Both.

Not all of the inventory. The grocery Grinch apparently isn't a fan of squash, jicama and peanuts. That's all that was left, all over the floor.

Both said he got a call Friday from his manager that the board of health was shutting down the store. When he returned the next day, Both said the market was cleaned out, and the security cameras were disconnected.

The city of Allentown said it did post a violation against Orchards on Friday because the business license wasn't complete, but the city said it had nothing to do with the removal of produce.

Allentown police are now investigating the pre-Christmas caper as a theft, which Both said didn't go unnoticed. He said many of his neighbors saw a U-Haul truck pull to the front of the store and a lot of people loading it up.

Both said he has some theories about what happened but is hoping the police catch those responsible for the theft. He said it couldn't have come at a worse time, so close to Christmas, but like the who's in Whooville, he will try to make the best of the situation.

That could be difficult because Both said he doesn't have the insurance to replace the produce.

"We will try to reopen it and hopefully recover from this. We lost a lot of money, but we will try to reopen in a couple of weeks," said Both.