Strawberry Robber Strikes Porvoo Farm

File picture of strawberries / Credit: News Now Finland

A Finnish farmer is scratching his head over a night time theft which netted the robber five kilos strawberries.

Peter Boije af Gennäs, who runs Illby Gård farm near Porvoo, says it’s the first time someone has stolen so many strawberries from his field at one time.

“I don’t know should I laugh or should I be angry” Boije af Gennäs tells News Now Finland. “It’s a funny thing that someone is risking to get caught to pick strawberries for one hour in the night”.

The thief was spotted by one of Boije af Gennäs’ neighbours in the early hours of Monday morning working with a headlamp to pilfer the berries, turning the light off when any cars approached on the nearby main road.

“I have really good neighbours around the strawberry fields […] and one of them noticed somebody picking with his headlight. She wasn’t sure if she should call me in the middle of the night or call the police, so she called me in the morning”.

Since the theft, worth around €35 at current prices, Peter Boije af Gennäs has been lightheartedly discussing with his older brother how to protect their crops in future – and came up with the options of an electric fence or a wildlife camera to capture any thieves in action.

“If somebody wants to pick and eat a little bit and have a bad stomach and guilty conscience, this strawberry business is not going down for five kilos” says the 39-year old farmer. “But it’s also a little bit angry of course that there is people who is not so nice. Maybe the man forgot to pay and thought we were open in the night” he adds.

Finnish farmers produce up to 14 million kilos of strawberries each summer, but this year a cold spring meant a late crop. Growers say they expect to still be harvesting strawberries well into mid-August, an unusual situation in southern Finland.