LAVEEN, AZ (3TV/CBS5) -- The community is expressing support for a Laveen farm that was targeted by a thief.

Amadio Ranch on Dobbins Road sells baked goods in a refrigerator out front. Customers are encouraged to pick up what they want and leave payment in a jar.

The honor systems works well most of the time.

[WATCH: Laveen farm store's honor system put to the test]

“Any given day we have 20, 3,0 maybe more cars coming through here and we don’t have a problem,” says Jennifer Whittman with Amadio Ranch.

Cash in the jar comes up short every few months, says Whittman. But owners of the ranch were surprised when surveillance video captured one suspect ripping them off on at least two occasions.

The theft on Wednesday led to the owners posting the surveillance video on social media.

“[The suspect] went over to the other cooler where the payment jar was and grabbed, I mean really quick, just turned around and grabbed some cash,” says Whittman.

Amadio Ranch has been in Laveen for about ten years, says Whittman. She says owners perform service projects in the area like cleaning up graffiti. She says they also host young volunteers and enjoy taking their farmers market on the road building relationships with the community.

Whittman says the theft feels like a betrayal.

“It is kind of hurtful because of the way that we give to the community,” says Whittman.

Customers reacted to social media posts by sending kind messages and making a few extra stops at the farm to buy homemade goods.

Mindy Erskine is one of those customers.

“It's really disappointing that somebody in our community would go to that level, especially with the Amadios being such a trusting family,” says Erskine.

The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office says the investigation is ongoing. Whittman believes the suspect may be a juvenile. She says she only wants him to make better choices.

As for the payment jar? Whittman says it stays.

“If you drive up and you see cash, it’s like wow, you know? You trust me and I trust you that you're going to give me something in return,” says Whittman. “It's kind of like the community that we've built.”

 


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

 

Locations

Recommended for you