A well-known Chilliwack corn grower caught a man stealing corn right out of his field and later trying to resell it on a local Facebook sale page.
Ian Sparkes of the iconic yellow and green Sparkes Corn Barns seen all over Chilliwack posted online Sunday evening that a man backed a truck right into a field running over part of the crop. The thief then allegedly made trails through the field as he loaded up his truck.
“We put plenty of hours in planting, tarping, soil prep, picking, packing, etc.” Sparkes posted on his Facebook page. “These costs increase each year as supplies, labour and land increase. When I find someone has been stealing our crop, I don’t take it lightly. This is no difference than stealing someone’s paycheque.”
Sparkes’ first corn of the season went on sale on Friday, and Sparkes said the alleged thief was picking their corn on Thursday.
Then came the Facebook post on “Chilliwack Online Garage Sale.”
|A Facebook post selling corn that local corn grower Ian Sparkes says was stolen right out of his field. (Facebook)|
“Selling corn 50 cent each msg me phone number peach and cream just picked today 5dallor a dozen or 4 dozen for 20$ [sic]”
Sparkes was not happy, but it wasn’t a challenging crime to solve.
“He advertised the corn for less than half the retail price. If you choose to take up crime, best to try and be a wee bit smarter than stealing corn in Chilliwack and selling it from your door in Chilliwack on your own FB page.”
He said the alleged thief went out in the middle of the night to steal even more.
“We had a friend answer the add and go purchase some corn from the less than desirable looking guy,” Sparks wrote on Facebook. “He was sitting on his doorstep with a bin of my corn selling it. You will notice in his FB comments someone asks ‘can they pick up a couple dozen?’ He answers ‘I’m not available till morning.’ That’s because he was in my field stealing his next load.”
Sparkes posted a screenshot of a customer’s conversation with the alleged thief, a truck with four flat tires, and a truck load of the corn in his driveway.
The Progress is not using the name of the man accused of the corn theft as he has not yet been charged with any crime. Chilliwack RCMP are investigating.