Some crimes just leave us speechless; the Dom-Post reports:
Vandals spent a night destroying 1500 apple trees on a Hawke's Bay orchard at the weekend and the owner is at a loss to explain why his fruit trees were targeted.Some staff are now sleeping in paddocks to keep an around-the-clock watch on the remaining crop, which provides a livelihood for several families.On Sunday morning Jonty Moffett arrived at his orchard at Fernhill, near Hastings, to discover the trees had been cut down the previous night.The two-year-old trees were 1.8m to 2m tall. Some had been cut in half, others had been severed at ground level.The damage appeared to have been done using loppers and was probably carried out by more than one person as there were so many trees. Mr Moffett estimated it would have taken one person five hours to destroy the crop."I just can't understand why it's been done, who would have done it ... I'm just at a total loss. But there are that many people out there who want to find out who did it. I'm pretty confident they'll be caught," he said."We employ between 30 and 90 people, with several families relying on work here as their sole income. They're feeling pretty threatened by this attack."I haven't asked them to, but some of these staff are now sleeping in the paddocks. They've got a roster going to monitor the blocks. I've had guys sleeping the whole night out in the cold because they are worried these guys will come back again."The Moffett family has been growing trees in the area for about 30 years.Mr Moffett said the local community was shocked at the random attack and had offered help.
What would possess some person or persons to systematically destroy an orchard, of all things? We're sure that the Police will be having particular "lines of enquiry" that they are following, including any disgruntled former employees.